Backpedal a few years, adidas Stan Smiths were one of those pairs that every teen had to own. It’s one of those classic pairs of the sneaker, that every sneakerhead has once had in their collection and most probably still do.
The adidas Stan Smith is an iconic tennis shoe that first came out in 1965, with an original name of “adidas Robert Haillet”. The name was given after a French tennis player Robert Haillet. In the year 1978, this classic low-top silhouette was renamed after an American tennis player, Stanley Roger Smith. It is one of the most prominent designs by the brand, which has transformed from being an athletic sneaker to a fashion and lifestyle icon.
The adidas Stan Smiths is one of those pairs that would definitely have crossed your eyes even if you haven’t noticed. The sports and athletic wear brand, adidas has sold over 30 million Stan Smith pairs all over the world. The Stan Smith and adidas contract was cleped as the 13th of the 50 most significant sneaker sponsorship deals by the Sneaker Report.
But, the hype has calmed down and in recent years, the popularity of this classic shoe has slightly declined. While they are still one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, their limelight is being stolen by the much-hyped collaboration, Yeezy.
What’s a Yeezy?
Yeezy, the name you’re hearing from every sneakerhead these days, is the brainchild of the America Rapper, Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Kanye is an ardent artiste who is not afraid to pursue his passions. Akin to his love for music, he has always been an avid fan of streetwear as well, which led him to the world of sneakers.
The Yeezy brand started as a collaboration between the Swoosh brand, Nike, and Kanye in 2009, which lasted for five years.
After the cessation of that deal, Adidas, the three-stripe brand, collaborated with Ye in 2013, released the first pairs in 2015 and the rest is history. The Yeezy brand has become synonymous with the release of the most anticipated and hyped sneakers, which are notorious for selling out in seconds.
One of the top sneaker brands, Yeezy is brought out sneakers that are changing the course of the sneaker history.
The brand has released several silhouettes including; Yeezy 380, Yeezy qntm, Yeezy 750, Yeezy 700 v2, Yeezy 700 v3, Yeezy boost 700, Yeezy foam runner, Yeezy knit RNR, Yeezy 500, Yeezy 450, Yeezy 350, Yeezy slides, and the most promising silhouette, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2.
Yeezy Boost 350
Initially, the Yeezy brand originated with Kanye’s partnership with Nike. The duo released the “Air Yeezy” and “Air Yeezy II” series, these high-top sneakers were massively appreciated and are still very valuable and rare, especially the Nike Air Yeezy II “Red October” colorway. But, after a couple of these releases, their partnership ended.
When adidas learned of this, the brand approached Kanye with an offer he couldn't refuse, giving him more control over the Yeezy brand as well. With adidas, Kanye created his first-ever low-top sneaker, the Yeezy Boost 350. This was his second release with adidas following the high-top silhouette Yeezy 750.
The Yeezy Boost 350 opened a new realm of success for the brand, it was an instant hit. It became one of the most coveted and fastest-selling sneakers. The silhouette displayed a play of new materials and design elements, a primeknit upper over a full-sized boost sole, and a rope lacing system. This iconic design was a landmark of Kanye’s creative design, while still being one of the most comfortable shoes.
The Yeezy Boost 350 first came out in “Turtle Dove” and Pirate Black” colorways and retailed for a price of $200 in adult sizing. The brand also extended its offering to kids and infant sizing. The silhouette instantly became a hit and was seen on a lot of A-lister celebrities including the Beckhams, Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Joe Jonas, Pharrell Williams, Gigi Hadid, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, and the maestro himself, Kanye West and so many more.
The band released more colorways of the Yeezy Boost 350 and these sneakers rollover in the resale market for a big chunk of money. For example, the pirate black colorway resells for over $1000. One of the most exclusive pairs of Yeezy Boost 350 includes the “Moon Rock” colorway that was released in the most limited quantity and resells over a whopping $3,300 price tag.
Yeezy Boost 350 V2
Following the success of the Yeezy Boost 350, the brand produced another ground-breaking sneaker, the Yeezy Boost 350 V2. Since its debut in 2016, this larger and better version of its predecessor has been one of the most anticipated sneakers.
The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 featured an improved and altered primeknit upper that graces a post-dyed microfilament side-stripe showcasing the letters “SPLY - 350”. An improved translucent midsole with encased Boost cushioning finishes off the design with the roped lacing system. This level of success and admiration has turned the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 silhouette into an iconic pair, which proved to be a game-changing shoe for adidas and the Yeezy brand. This attention-grabbing pair ensured that whoever owned a pair of these sneakers was in the limelight.
The 350 v2 retailed for a price of $220 and was released in a number of colorways such as “Beluga”, “Zebra”, “Core Black”, “Clay”, “Yeshaya”, etc. This highly sought-after silhouette always gets sold out within minutes and second of release, and is very hard to grab at its original price. These classics can easily go up to $1200 at the resale market.
For example, the adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in “Zebra” colorway gained a lot of popularity after its release. It was a special edition release and was produced in a very limited quantity. It featured a white base with a grey and black zebra print all over the Primeknit upper. The classic SPLY – 350 branding hit the translucent micro-filament side-strip in red tones. While its signature boost cushioning is enclosed in the translucent sole for maximum comfort. White roped laces and a white heel tab with a black line across its middle finish off the look showcasing Kanye’s clean aesthetic. This specific pair was valued highly around that time, and everyone wanted to get their hands on it. The resale value of this silhouette was around $2000, while its original retail value was $220.
The brand also released a number of colorways with slight variations such as reflective renditions that don a 3M shine when light hits their surface, apart from the regular non-reflective form. The classic also came out in a glow-in-the-dark version. MX colorways were also released that had a marbled pattern over the Primeknit upper. The 350 V2s come in adult, kids, and infant sizing.
This silhouette was well received by the sneaker community, and as a result of its immense popularity, Kanye has been constantly working his creative juices to extract more playful renditions of the iconic Yeezy Boost 350 V2.
Adidas to shift its focus from Stan Smith to Yeezy?
Yeezy sneakers are widely known for their fine craftsmanship and futuristic designs. Kanye’s unconventional and futuristic designs continue to leave the fans in admiration, but are they on the road to take over the classics, like Stan Smiths?!!
The Yeezy brand has been developed into a sneaker empire by the joined forces of fashion and music genius, Kanye West and the three-stripe sportswear brand, adidas. Yeezy has managed to develop a name of its own in the highly competitive world of sneakers. The Yeezy following is not only limited to sneakerheads but it extends down to celebrities and athletes alike. The adidas Yeezy Boost 350 and Yeezy Boost 350 V2 have been very impactful and will be deemed as prominent players in the history of sneakers.
Yeezy is the byproduct of pure passion, which could be its secret ingredient to success along with the right strategy. The sportswear brand, adidas named this alliance between the two as, “the most significant partnership ever created between an athletic brand and a non-athlete”
In a press conference, the German sportswear brand’s CEO Casper Rostered said that the lifecycle of products goes up and down. The popularity of adidas Stan Smiths might be fading but this gives them the opportunity to evolve their strategy for Yeezy.
Kanye West has been a fan of streetwear and sneakers since he was a child, even when he couldn't afford them. This is why envisions that he should be the one to make these sneakers accessible to the people who love them. In an interview, he said,
“Everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys, Adidas has promised me that because there's so many kids that have wanted them that couldn't get them. I talked to the heads at Adidas, and they said we can make them."
Hence, the duo decided to release more quantities of some sneakers and have more colorways and releases scheduled. This is one of the reasons that the value of some sneakers isn’t as high in the resale market. But this does not mean that the Yeezy brand is losing its prestige and place in the collector’s hands and resale market. Casper Rorstered also added,
"We changed the model, but it does not change the fact that we will make very scarce launches for certain shoes, and sometimes we'll suddenly have a different shoe.”
Is Yeezy the new Stan Smith?
With its growing popularity, the Yeezy brand has become a fashion staple in the wardrobes of all athletes and celebrities. This sneaker has become an icon in the world of streetwear and fashion. Just as the adidas Stan Smiths hold a prestigious place in the history of sneakers, adidas Yeezy has also paved its way into the books of history. From people waiting in lines (online waitlists and in stores) to get their hands on the classic silhouettes to people paying a fortune in the resale market, the Kanye, adidas, and Yeezy fans are doing it all. The Yeezy craze is at its peak, and the brands are now making sure to meet the demands of their admirers. Hence, some of the Yeezy pairs are expected to be everywhere and in hands of everyone who wants them. Just like, people once went gaga over Stan Smiths, now it’s the time for Yeezy.
Can you say that Yeezy is the new Stan Smith? In some ways yes, due to it being one of the most sought-after sneakers of the decade. But, the accessibility of Yeezys is limited to some pairs only. They are planning to treat each shoe differently and have a different strategy in place for each shoe.
Yeezy still continues to be a part of every sneakerheads’ wishlist. Sneakerheads, celebrities, and athletes all adore Yeezy, and it is widely considered as one of the best sneakers of the year 2022 so far.
Let us know what you think, is Yeezy really going to be the new Stan Smith?
We are eager to hear, what are your favorite sneakers of all time and what sneakers do you want to add to your collection in 2022?
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