Nike Air Yeezy 2 Sneakers by Kanye West
In 2009, for the first time ever Nike developed a signature sneaker for a non-athlete. The Nike Air Yeezy sneakers were a special sneaker collaboration project between Nike and Kanye West. Two editions have been released, the Air Yeezy (released in 2009) and the Air Yeezy II (released in 2012). We take a look back at the infamous Nike Air Yeezy 2.
According to Kanye, the concept behind the Air Yeezy was to make a better sneaker by using the same talent used on high-end fashion sneakers. Kanye knew what the people wanted and the success of the Air Yeezy confirmed this. The Nike Air Yeezy II continued on delivering uniqueness, creativity and originality to the table.
Every element of the Nike Air Yeezy II sneaker blends performance and functionality with luxury. A dose of great materials are used, like performance Torch material for the tongues, Nike Air units in the soles and lightweight mesh on the upper. The Air Yeezy II implemented the outsole of the Nike Air Tech Challenge II tennis shoe and iconic Nike Cross Training silhouettes along with a new molded strap.
The sneakers are also infused with strong animalistic forms along the upper, like the python textured leather quarter side panels, embellished with a debossed Nike Swoosh. The molded heel is very striking as well, which feature hard reptilian inspired spikes or ridges. The new developed strap provided better closure and was scaled down sporting spikes too for a more harmonized look.
Kanye took a lot of inspiration from ancient Egyption mythology, and implemented this in the design. Subtle details include a logo of the mythological god Horus on the tongues and insoles, and Egyption hieroglyphics on the inside of the velcro strap that spell out “YZY”. Other notable details are the laces’ tips, which have each screw on lace aglets in gold or metal, and python pattern on the eyelets and special leather lace toggle that contains the Roman numeral “II” on the back. The sneakers came with a matching dustbag featuring lace aglets, lace toggle and the Horus logo.
Fit was essential this time, so the goal was to make the Air Yeezy 2 shoes slimmer than its predecessor . Notable design differences between the originals, are the elimination of unnecessary padding and big tongue. The plush collars were made both more comfortable and breathable. The collar was also lowered to allow for greater movement. Not only does the design look extraordinary, the Air Yeezy II’s are both comfortable and functional as well.
At first sight, the colorway looks very similar to the original “Zen Grey” Air Yeezy release, but the official name is “Wolf Grey/Pure Platinum”. The black version’s official name is “Black/Black-Solar Red “. The only color found on the sneakers were on the inside of the shoes, the inner lining and insoles. Like the original, the Air Yeezy 2 sneakers also contained glow-in-the-dark soles.
The Nike Air Yeezy II in the Platinum and the Black edition were both released at the same time on June 9th, 2012 with a retail price of $250 USD. With a rumoured number of 1500 pairs released in each colorway worldwide, it was almost impossible to obtain the shoes. Due to the extremely limited numbers, resell prices soared to well above $1,000 USD. Even today, a pair sells for an average $1,500-$2,500. The Black model has been a game-changing color scheme, if a shoe features black, pink and a kind of color close to glow-in-the-dark, it’s dubbed the “Yeezy” colorway. The popularity of this colorway resulted in higher resell prices over the Platinum colorway.
Unlike with the first release, the Air Yeezy II only featured two colorways, Solar Red, and Pure Platinum. A third official colorway of the Air Yeezy II shoes, dubbed the “Red October”, are to be released to the public on December 27, 2013. The silhouette of the Air Yeezy Red October stayed the same with some subtle differences. The Air Yeezy 2 Red October features a red glow-in-the-dark sole and instead of the python pattern on side panels, they feature little plastic pyramids along the sides and on the lace toggles.
Due to disagreements with Nike, Kanye partnered with Adidas in November 2013 meaning the end of the Air Yeezy sneaker. Many people were doubting an official release of this all-red colorway now Kanye has left, but Nike still planned to released the Red Octobers. This could be the most hyped sneaker release ever.
What are your thought on the Nike Air Yeezy 2 sneakers? Do you own a pair? Which one do you think looks the best? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.