For better or for worse, products from the YEEZY brand are big ticket items for resellers. YEEZY = hype. Hype + scarcity x social media = gross amount of resell and huge price inflation, but we’re not mathematicians.
Most longtime sneakerheads can agree, resell “culture” and inflated sneaker prices are generally not a cool thing, it’s actually a trend we’d like to see buried. But a crafty new sneaker and apparel package on the YEEZY webstore might be impeding the nature of secondary sneaker markets. If you, like countless others, clocked onto yeezysupply.com earlier this week to cop a pair of the Season 6 YEEZY Desert Rat 500s, you may have noticed that the shoes are only available to buy with the caveat that they are bought as a bundle, complete with two apparel pieces.
So, to clarify, if you were looking to cop only the YEEZY Desert Rat 500 (in Super Moon Yellow) for $200, you just can’t. In order to proceed through the site you’ll also need to buy the core hoodie and the core sweatshorts, bringing your checkout total up to $760.
Let’s also not forget that any pre-orders made now won’t be shipping until March 2018. So that’s paying full price today and then waiting three months for a pair of sneakers (and clothes that you were coerced into buying), which is quite ridiculous, especially when you consider that most reputable brands and retailers offer next-day delivery.
This new approach from YEEZY has two knock-on effects.
Curbing Resell Mania
First, it should curb the resell mania, at least a bit. By effectively quadrupling the amount of money needed to get just one pair of Desert Rats, some thirsty resellers will probably think twice about the investment. For the most part, sneakers offer higher resell margins than apparel, with the exception of insanely hyped products like Supreme box logo hoodies. Having to invest in three products could be a deterrent for anyone purchasing the Desert Rat 500 in order to flip them on Grailed.
Initiating a YEEZY uniform
Second – and it’s hard to say what Kanye and his team were hoping to accomplish by offering the products as a package – this shopping caveat presents YEEZY Season 6 as a complete ensemble, not as individual pieces to be worn and diluted with another brand or style, but to be worn as a head-to-toe Yeezy ’fit.
We know that Kanye West has been rocking a ton of top-to-bottom Yeezy fits these days, and the styling for his unconventional lookbook (i.e. candid shots of Kim K in Los Angeles styled by Carine Roitfeld) reflects this. It makes sense, it’s his eponymous brand.
When Vetements decided to pull out of the traditional fashion calendar, Demna Gvasalia said “fashion shows are not the best tool” and ‘Ye seems to be thinking along the same lines with his latest drop. However, the accusations of exploitation and a lukewarm reception to YEEZY Season 5 may have something to do with it. By relocating the release of his product back into his own hands, and even dictating the rest of the items in your shopping cart, Kanye is gaming the entire system.
As for the idea of wearing YEEZY in head-to-toe or not at all, we’ve seen some questionable takes such as this one here, courtesy of Liam Payne.
Hopefully, come March, any more renderings of a full-on Yeezy 6 ’fit won’t look quite so forced? Either way the release of the Desert Rat 500 is brilliant and there’s no telling what ‘Ye and co have in store for next year.
Shop this look and the rest of YEEZY season 6 here.
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