The final adidas YEEZY sneaker sale, a partially charitable sale of leftover shoes scheduled for late May 2023, isn't just a handy method for disposing of a billion-dollar problem. adidas' YEEZY sale is guaranteed to be swarmed, botted, and resold ad infinitum, a worthy capstone for the world's second-biggest signature sneaker line, right after Nike's Jordan Brand.

In fact, adidas' sale offers a great reminder that, though you can't spell YEEZY without Ye, you can quite easily sell YEEZYs without Ye.

When adidas offloads its remaining YEEZY stock on May 31 through its CONFIRMED app (RIP YEEZY Supply), I have no doubt that every available sneaker will instantly sell out, a reseller's paradise. People love these shoes and they know that they aren't easy to come by these days, so demand will be high.

Let me quickly distinguish Ye's YEEZY from adidas YEEZY: the former is a company owned by Ye while the latter was a collaborative effort between Ye and adidas.

Paradoxically, YEEZY sneakers were intended to be as attainable as they were popular.

"I'm gonna make sure everyone gets YEEZYs," Ye once said. This was a promise he'd frequently double down on: "We’ll eventually get them super-inexpensive. It will be all about everyone having them," Ye later affirmed.

Typically unreliable Ye kept his word in this case and adidas did begin churning out YEEZY sneakers at an impressive clip.

It got to the point where adidas was dropping such an insane volume of YEEZY sneakers in slightly different colorways that YEEZY drops became an exhausting routine, rather than headline news.

Despite the deluge of YEEZYs, though they perpetually sold out as quickly as they dropped. Even as recently as late 2022, sneakerheads were marveling at the speed and breadth of YEEZY sell-outs, even when they got really weird.

"You've got about six seconds to check out," one commenter grumbled.

YEEZYs were as popular as they were ubiquitous. They remain so in-demand to this day that fake YEEZYs are nearly as coveted as the real deal.

Easy to imagine that adidas' forthcoming sale of unsold YEEZY sneaker stock, the last-ever official adidas YEEZY drop, will sell through just as quickly.

It's Ye's fault that adidas YEEZY imploded, really.

Ye has been pop culture persona non grata since his very public, very protracted, very embarrassing October 2022 meltdown that prompted every single business partner, including adidas, to sever ties.

You may have thought that Ye's unprovoked verbal attacks and anti-Semitic tirades were dire enough to discourage anyone from wearing YEEZY sneakers, lest they tacitly co-sign Ye — you'd be wrong.

Even in the immediate wake of Ye's fall from grace, I was struck by just how many YEEZY sneakers I still saw strolling the streets of New York.

And I don't mean fresh pairs rocked by sneakerheads flexing their latest cop; I saw (and still see) YEEZYs worn by bus drivers, sanitation workers, schoolchildren, businessmen, tourists, and elderly people.

I saw YEEZYs while walking through midtown Manhattan, Central Park, Soho, subway stations.

"What were all these YEEZY-wearing people thinking?" I wondered.

Had they somehow not seen the news? Did their love for the shoes outweigh any distaste for his rants? Were they cool with Ye promising to go "death con 3 on Jewish people?" Did they simply not care? Did they... agree?

Finally, it hit me: YEEZY sneakers no longer have anything to do with Ye.

I mean, the adidas YEEZY line wouldn't exist without Ye but that doesn't necessarily matter to the layman. Not hard to imagine that some folks simply take the shoes at face value and prize them for aesthetic purposes alone.

Even prior to Ye's rants, YEEZY sneakers had stopped being a sneakerhead thing. They were just too attainable to be hyped, aside from some of the weirder models — literally, everyone and their grandma had a pair of 350s, Wave Runners, and YEEZY Slides.

A quick skin of Facebook Marketplace turns up countless YEEZYs from Billings to Birmingham.

These shoes are everywhere and, presumably, to nearly all of these people who own them, they're just that: shoes. Not a totem to Ye, not a signifier of his influence, just a shoe that they think looks cool.

"A text's unity lies not in its origin but in its destination," French philosopher Roland Barthes once wrote. He was talking about literature but it's a handy comparison for basically any popular product devised under capitalism.

Therein, consumers are inherently distanced from laborers, including both the people who physically created the product and the brains that ideated it in the first place.

"Art vs. artist" is another way to think about it — is a song, painting, or film given meaning by its creator or by the person who enjoys it?

Like Steve Jobs, his idol, Ye's influence is tangible in the real world: adidas YEEZY sneakers are as commonplace as iPhones.

Also like his idol, though, Ye's signature product has outgrown him. One isn't reminded of Steve Jobs every time they power on their iPhone; one needn't necessarily think of Ye when they lace up their YEEZYs.

This is why adidas' YEEZY sale will be a thundering success with or without Ye's blessing. By democratizing YEEZY sneakers, Ye created a product line that no longer needs his association to succeed.

We Recommend
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    The Essential Shoes For Your Wardrobe Refresh in 2023
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Everything to Know: adidas YEEZY's August 2023 Sneaker Sale
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    Inside Kanye's Secret YEEZY SEASON 10 Show
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    YEEZY Does it For These Nike Slides
    • Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    These White Sneakers Will Add Versatility To Your Rotation
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • model walks the runway during the Cecilie Bahnsen Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week.
    Cecilie Bahnsen Is Upcycling ASICS Again
    • Sneakers
  • moncler adidas collab
    Moncler x adidas Originals Is So Puffing Good
    • Sneakers
  • travis kelce pre game outfits
    Thanks to Vetements, We Know What Travis Kelce Did Last Night
    • Style
  • y/project ss24
    Y/Project SS24 Was Full of Twists, Turns, & Snakes
    • Style
  • offset balenciaga outfit
    In the "Spy Kids" Shades, Offset Is a Man on a Style Mission
    • Style
  • space jam 11 low
    The Space Jam 11s Are Going Low, Apparently
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.