Kanye West is finally delivering on his oft-repeated promise that YEEZYs would one day be for everyone. Production numbers are up and resell prices are stagnating, specifically for the two recently released YEEZYs, the restocked YEEZY Boost 350 V2 “Cream White” and the YEEZY Boost 700 “Mauve.” Neither sold out and both sneakers sat in adidas’ YEEZY webstore before being pulled.
YEEZY supply outweighing demand was almost unimaginable after Kanye West’s hookup with adidas launched in February 2015.
Fast forward three years and certain YEEZYs really do seem to be bricks, to borrow from reseller lingo. When West announced his plans to bring YEEZYs to the masses, fans were skeptical that it would ever happen. Widespread availability clashes with the idea of a limited release model, but West is now on his way to fulfilling his promise — and, surprisingly, people aren’t talking about it as much as we would have predicted.
One thing is for sure, though, the latest YEEZYs are less interesting for resellers, with the “Cream White” (retailing for $220) and “Mauve” (retailing for $300) going for an average $221 and $291 respectively on StockX in size US 9. So that means you can now get your hands on a pair of YEEZY 700s for under retail (before fees and shipping).
But what about those of us who actually wear our shoes? Yeezy Talk Worldwide founder Vivian Frank tells us that some sneakerheads might take a pass on the recent, more widely available YEEZYs in favor of something more exclusive such as OFF-WHITE x Nike. But while those sneakerheads who place a premium on exclusivity might be turned off by potential YEEZY ubiquity, others who missed out on past releases are likely to be happier now that the shoes are easier to cop.
Some have suggested that West’s politically provocative behavior might also have affected sales. However, NPD Group sports industry analyst Matt Powell believes it is simply a question of increased supply, not politics. “West’s products have always been driven by scarcity and the subsequent high resale value,” he says. Not that he’s a big fan of YEEZY anyway: “The product itself is unremarkable in both design and material.”
Powell has seen this type of strategy go awry before. “We saw with Jordan that oversupply can kill a market,” he says. “Jordan sales are now in steep decline due to oversupply. I doubt that Jordan can return to its former days.” So if West and adidas continue to increase the supply of YEEZY shoes, they run the risk of repeating Jordan Brand’s misstep. “Oversupply killed [the adidas] Superstar. Sales are now down about 60 percent. Oversupply could kill West’s program as well.”
While he doesn’t have the numbers to back the theory up, Frank for one believes that West’s political outspokenness has had at least some effect on his popularity. “I do see a lot of hate towards him, so it seems like his followers or fans don’t support what he’s doing and therefore won’t support his products,” he says.
With industry insiders like Frank and Powell divided on the exact reason YEEZY shoes aren’t selling out, one thing is clear: West promised more YEEZYs and now we’re getting more YEEZYs. It’s just that most people don’t seem to care — unless you’re a reseller.
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