It has been over a year since Ye first rocked his infamous Marty McFly inspired kicks at the 2008 Grammys. Since then we have seen a variety of prototypes on Kanye’s feet and even more release date delays. But now it is official, the Air Yeezys will drop in select stores tomorrow April 4, 2009.
The design was finalized after a series of revisions and alterations by Kanye West and Nike Creative Director Mark Smith. “I’ve been designing Nike’s in my sketch pad since the fourth grade,” said West. “So to say I’ve been prepared for this would be an understatement. The really fun and challenging part for me was learning about Nike’s design process, learning more about fabrics and functions and colorways, and all of the details that go into designing a shoe of this quality.” Despite the simple design, the shoe is not short on detail or inspiration. According to a Nike press release, the Air Yeezy is:
Equipped with debossed ankle collar pods for added support and protection, extra-thick sock liners, a forefoot support strap, original functional tension lace loops, and Phylon tooling taken from the 1987 Nike Air Assault for added performance and comfort… The remastered Nike Air Assault outsole is treated to glow-in-the-dark properties and will illuminate when the light is low. The forefoot support strap is premium grade patent leather and is of no-stitch construction. Clean seams are used throughout except for a premium suede toe wrap feature with visible stitch detail. Emblazoned across the Air Yeezy is an exclusive “Y” repeat pattern, as either a debossed or lasered detail, which takes inspiration from the Jordan brands iconic Elephant print material.
This athletically inspired high-top shoe showcases a very different side of Kanye than his self-designed Louis Vuitton kicks. The LV sneakers, which he debuted at Paris Fashion Week, are more understated and elegant, besides the rather garrish red colorups. These simultaneous forays into the shoe game, combined with Kanye’s Pastelle Brand, prove that he truly is dedicated to transitioning from a consumer to a purveyor of high fashion. The Air Yeezy’s however, will make sure that the Louis Vuitton Don is also feeding the streets with more urban swagger.
Whether you are a sneaker head with an eye for detail and a fetish for fresh colorups or an old head looking to go Back to The Future, the Air Yeezys won’t disappoint. The shoe is no doubt buzzworthy, but whether it attains its desired status as a “modern classic” remains to be seen.
The Earl Grey/ Light Charcoal Yeezys drop tomorrow and the Black/Pink colorways will arrive in May.