“You ain’t got no Yeezy(s)?!” – The Models
The 2013 holiday season has been, as it usually is, a hectic one for sneakerheads worldwide. With the release of several notable pairs of kicks (Gamma Blue Jordan XIs, Taxi Jordan XIIs, Retro Air Zoom Flights, and new LeBron 11 & KD VI colorways, among others), one would assume that collectors would be satisfied with the pickups they may have made in recent weeks. Yet and still, Nike had one last bomb to drop on us, as they announced that the highly sought after Air Yeezy II “Red October” would be released exclusively via Foot Locker’s online store. However, the culture was crushed just as quickly as it was cultivated when the planned released was cancelled days later.
The Nike Air Yeezy is the signature sneaker of world famous emcee Kanye West. Hailing from the city where Michael Jordan
became a legend in the sneaker world, Kanye is an avid fan of the culture and, after reaching an incredible level of fame, was able to secure his own signature shoe with the Nike brand (an amazing feat, as this was the first non-athlete collaboration in the company’s history). The Air Yeezy originally debuted in 2009 with three colorways at a suggested retail of US$275, and was met with fan frenzy. The second installment of the Yeezy, the Air Yeezy II, was met with an equal amount of fanfare with its long-awaited release in 2012. While the two launch colorways of the Yeezy II were certainly nothing to sneeze at, the announcement of the Red Octobers caused a ruckus like no other colorway had before, as fans plotted on how to secure a pair of the sneaker that seemed impossible to reach.
While the success of the Yeezy was undeniable and the hunger for more climbed as time passed, a rift grew between Mr. West and the Nike brand before the most highly-anticipated colorway could be released to the public. West’s struggles with Nike stemmed from a combination of a lack of creative control, an absence of royalties, and discrepancies with the powers that be that are in charge of the brand. This ultimately led to the emcee officially leaving the brand to strike a new apparel deal with rival company Adidas less than a month ago, all but killing the hope for a release of the Red Octobers.
That was, until Monday, when Foot Locker made the announcement that the shoe would be released online on the morning of December 27th. Fans of the culture speculated on the accuracy of the news, and were ecstatic when the release made its way to the release calendar on the store’s website. The moment we had all been waiting for was here. It was finally official….. for less than a week. Foot Locker took to their twitter feed on Christmas Eve to play The Grinch, announcing that the Red Octobers would not be releasing as we had thought and offering no further information. What was once a sneaker fan’s beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy has seemingly turned into a nightmare in record time.
Looking forward, fans will surely be keeping their ears to the streets in the hopes of learning more about how to get their hands on the elusive sneaker. What are your thoughts? Do you think Kanye signing with Adidas has killed the possibility of a Red Octobers release date? Will they possibly end up on the Foot Locker website on the morning of the 27th anyway? Stay tuned and keep Listening.