Who did Kanye sign his deal with?
Kanye West is the most talked about person in the sneaker culture right now. With all the hype and rumors surrounding the red Yeezy 2, it’s not hard to see why Kanye is the topic of discussion. For years, Kanye has been very selective about doing press, but as of late Ye’s been doing interview after interview after interview. But his recent press run is no coincidence because if you’ve been paying attention, you can clearly see he’s using the interviews to get corporate backing for his own brand. When Kanye speaks, most people listen, and he finally caught the right brand’s attention.
This week Kanye mentioned in a few of his interviews that he recently signed his deal. Uh oh! Did he sign with Nike? That would have been the best option for both parties, but I’m pretty sure Nike is not interested in giving Ye his own brand. From a business standpoint, that actually would make a lot of sense. However, it would also compete with Nike and Jordan Brand, and there’s already enough politics between Nike and Jordan Brand. I understand the Nike/JB politics on one end, and then I don’t. A business is about making lots of capital, but I guess capital is not everything. That said, if Nike is not the brand Kanye signed with that proves money isn’t everything because a Kanye x Nike brand would makes lots of cheddar.
So, if he didn’t sign with Nike who did he sign with?
“I just signed my deal a week and half ago. But it took a major company, and I can’t say yet. We’re gonna announce it in a couple of weeks.” -Kanye West on 96.5 (Watch below. Start at 1:35)
The day his 96.5 interview hit YouTube, rumors quickly spread about Kanye signing with adidas. And it didn’t help that Kanye said in one of his recent interviews he wants backing from a brand like Nike or adidas. Of course it has not been confirmed, and according to Mr. West, his partnership with the major company will be announced soon. However, if he didn’t sign with adidas, who did he sign with? The only other sneaker brand that comes to mind is Reebok. If that’s the case; it’s still a win for the brand with three stripes because the adidas Group owns Reebok. Either way, the sneaker industry is about to become much more interesting.
What’s up with the red Yeezy 2?
The Kanye shrug is very appropriate at this point. It’s a mystery! We have all heard every rumor under the sun regarding the release of the all-red Y2. The real question is: if Kanye didn’t sign his deal with Nike will the third Yeezy 2 colorway still release? According to Yeezus concert-goers, West has not been wearing the rojo Yeezy 2 during his recent shows. Now that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s related to his new deal. It could very well be that he prefers performing in his Margiela exclusives over his signature Nike sneaker.
Speaking of the Yeezus tour, Yeezy said a few words in Brooklyn last night about Nike’s CEO, Mark Parker. During his motivational speech (most people call them rants), he told the audience Mark Parker even talked sh*t. According to West, Parker said he doesn’t even know why people like the Yeezys. West went on by telling the crowd how he got kicked out of class for drawing Jordans in 4th grade. (Watch the clip below. Start 8:20)
What does this mean for the future of sneakers?
If this Kanye West shoe/clothing brand is executed correctly, this could potentially be a threat to several brands. Whether you like Kanye or not, no one can deny his influence, especially when it comes to fashion. West plays a major role in the direction of what’s cool in fashion. From clothing to sneakers; West is extremely influential, and he knows it. We’ve all seen the Air Yeezy and Louis Vuitton hype. Even sneakers he didn’t design becomes more popular once he’s seen wearing them. We could very well see a new line of sneakers that’s able to garner the same demand as Jordans or other limited edition Nike footwear. With the right designs, materials, price points, and allocation, Kanye’s sneaker line could be a serious game changer for the sneaker industry.
Only time will tell.
Did Nike sign Yeezy? Did Kanye sign with adidas? There’s a lot of speculation, but one’s thing is confirmed: Kanye signed his new deal.
So many questions, but the official announcement will be made soon.
Please share your thoughts in the comment section.