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What did Will Yeezy’s Demise mean for the Sneaker Community?

The Yeezys are going away. off of Adidas’ shelves and websites. From Foot Locker, gone. The Replica Yeezy Sneakers prototypes that were up for auction in 2021 and sold for $1.8 million are no longer on display at Christie’s New York offices. (It was postponed.) In the aftermath of two weeks of antisemitic and anti-Black remarks, Kanye West’s business connections have vanished, and his products—especially his shoes—seem to have disappeared as well.

However, hundreds of pairs may still be available on the resale websites StockXpro, Stadium Goods, and GOAT, where shoes are exchanged like commodities and collectibles. And a discussion over the future of what Cowen Equity Research referred to as “an alternative asset class,” or an investment that isn’t in stocks or bonds, is already raging in the chat rooms on Reddit and Discord where stockx pro congregate.

On the day the Adidas announcement was made public, Christopher George, the founder of the “cook group” House of Carts, told his 1,500 members, “If you are holding loads of Yeezys, I would 100% be looking for an exit plan.” A cooking group is a group that shares and monitors information on drops and resales.

Then there are some who, like Project Blitz creator Andre Ljustina, feel that the sneakers’ worth will increase after the dust settles and the Replica Yeezy shoes alliance is over since it will make them more collectible.

“Rampant speculation” is the outcome of these contradictory signals, according to Mbiyimoh Ghogomu, the chief executive of Tradeblock, a sneaker trading site with more than 200,000 members. Compared to the preceding three days, the number of Yeezy transactions on the website increased by 40% from Monday to Wednesday last week (Adidas announced they were cutting ties on Tuesday).

The market that has been fuelled, according to Jordan Geller, the founder of the ShoeZeum and holder of the 2012 Guinness World Records title for the largest collection of sneakers, by the twin engines of “Nike’s Air Jordans and Adidas’s Yeezys,” is at issue as well. Cowen predicted that the market could reach $30 billion globally by 2030. It has also been the subject of museum exhibitions and documentaries.

What happens if one of those engines fails? According to Mr. Geller, the situation is “unprecedented.”

The Sneaker Market is Moving

You need to first grasp how shoes become valuable to comprehend why the demise of Yeezy might affect the whole sneaker industry. Similar to any market for collectibles like art or jewelry, the rarity of an item largely determines its value. However, when it comes to Replica Yeezy shoes for men, nostalgia and the designer’s cultural relevance are equally important.

Despite the fact that shoes have long had their subcultural semiology (going all the way back to the 1917 Converse All-Star), it was Michael Jordan, the Air Jordan’s release, and the rise of hip-hop in the mid-1980s that propelled sneakers into the forefront of popular discourse and identity. Fans had dreamt about doing so, and now they could. They remembered seeing Mr. Jordan playing basketball and wearing the shoes. In 2014, riots were started because Jordan shoes had such a large fan base.

While other businesses and alliances had their moments, a real opponent didn’t emerge until Ye partnered with Adidas in 2013 after a spat with Nike. Nothing even came close before it, according to Mr. George.

Adidas was unimportant before that, Mr. Geller said. “Collectors didn’t seem to like it very much. However, they immediately gained notoriety and importance after signing Kanye.

Ye anchored his calm in his music rather than in athletics, creating a completely new channel for connecting with fans. Mr. George said, “He sang ‘Yeezy leaped over Jumpman,’ and he did. Ye gave a stage preview of his shoes to raise interest, make them the news, and associate them with an event.

Everything changed, according to Mr. Ljustina. “Nike began to lose vitality to men’s Replica Yeezy shoes.”

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