Kanye West, the era-defining American rapper, more recently called ‘Ye’, has always been known to stay ahead of the curve. When he turned his attention to apparel, footwear, and fashion in general, he brought his signature ingenuity to the table. Kanye has had some memorable collabs with some of the biggest names in high fashion, like Fendi and his long-time friend, Virgil Abloh at LV.
Ye really came into his own after marrying his muse, Kim Kardashian and launching his visionary fashion brand, YEEZY. Focused on chic, uplifted yet subtle statement streetwear pieces, the brand’s launches have made headlines several times. Noted for their out-of-the-box promotional campaigns and fashion shows, YEEZY is known to push the envelope further with every aspect of a launch.
A lot of this ingenuity in design has often come under fire, dividing critics among those that think the brand tries too hard to be novel and those that truly believe Ye’s vision to be futuristic. Whichever category one may fall in, there is no denying that the pieces are wholeheartedly accepted by fashion lovers and every drop sells like hot cakes. It’s almost like Kaye West has the elusive Midas Touch that drives fashion today.
So, leave it to Kanye West to catapult the humble slider slippers into streetwear royalty. With the launch of the Yeezy Slides in collaboration with Adidas, YEEZY once again attempted to redefine what could be categorized as ‘high fashion’. Such is Kanye’s influence on fashion that the nondescript, comfy slides could now become fashion staples.
The release was very well received, not only for its creativity but also for its wearability. Taking a break from his outlandish, techno-driven designs, Ye leaned into the accessibility factor while designing these slides. Easy to style colours, familiar design and above all, incredible comfort are the major selling points for these slippers. These Adidas Yeezy Slides can be styled as a unisex accessory, but they have primarily been marketed as men’s footwear. They are fashioned in EVA Foam, putting them in their own league in terms of comfort, far ahead of competitors still perfecting the rubber design. Plus, they are designed to fit the foot snugly, which takes out the discomfort of slipping sliders, known all-too-well with these kinds of footwear.
The Yeezy Slides price at launch was USD 60, which is definitely a steep amount for slides. However, every product associated with the Adidas-YEEZY collab comes with undeniable street-cred. Moreover, the sales of these items are driven by the frenzy around the artist and the brand itself. Hence, the price-point has not proved to be a deterrent to sales as fans of Ye and Adidas-Yeezy have flocked stores to get their hands on a pair. In fact, their resale value has only gone up, with pairs selling for as high as USD 140 on some platforms.
Apart from the earthy tones of white, beige, brown, tan, ochre, and grey-black that YEEZY is identified with, the brand also launched the Yeezy Slides in fun, neon shades of ‘Glow Green’ and ‘Enflame Orange’. Branching further, the slides have been made available to the younger fans of the brand with Yeezy Slides Infants. This version comes with a back grip for added traction. The prominent, jagged teeth-like design of the sole is common to the adults’ as well as kids’ versions.
With its unique streetwear DNA, YEEZY is able to identify and create designs that make the magnificent out of mundane. Since the launch of these slides, YEEZY has realized the potential of leisure-wear market and has successfully used its designs to create pieces that are as comfortable as they are stylish. Now, when one thinks YEEZY, the mind immediately goes to laid-back, comfortable, snug designs as opposed to the disciplined and sharp edges that high fashion is often associated with. When providing this warm, fuzzy feeling, the brand does not compromise on style. Use of premium fabrics, cutting edge design technology, and brave ingenuity ensures that YEEZY patrons are always the center of attention.
No matter what one might think of Ye or his brand, credit must be given where it is due. He has succeeded in dismantling the idea of looking down upon streetwear as ‘not fashionable enough’ and the Yeezy Slides are a perfect example of that.
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