During late May early June, Adidas has officially decided to start releasing previously unreleased Yeezy sneakers. We explore what this means for the YEEZY brand moving forward.
The Severed Partnership: YEEZY and Adidas
The collaboration between Adidas and Kanye West, now known as Ye, marked a revolutionary epoch in the sneaker industry. The synergy crystallized in the form of the YEEZY line, was a beacon of innovation and disruption.
However, antisemitic comments on social media by Ye in late 2022 led to a resolute severance of the partnership by Adidas.
The Unexpected Release: A Strategic Balancing Act
In an unforeseen turn of events, Adidas recently announced its decision to release its extensive leftover YEEZY sneaker inventory.
A strategic choice made under the weight of substantial unsold stock, this release symbolizes a delicate balance of brand integrity, financial implications, and societal responsibility.
This significant YEEZY release, scheduled for May 31, 2023, in America and June 1 in other timezones, includes models initially planned for the 2022 release.
Among them, the YEEZY Boost V2 350 "Onyx" and "Carbon Beluga" are confirmed, with potential additions like the YEEZY 350 V2 CMPCT "Panda," and YEEZY Boost 700 V2 "Tephra."
However, Adidas warns of variations in the release catalog and schedule across regions, creating a unique demand-supply dynamic that will undoubtedly impact the regional secondary markets.
The Philanthropic Approach: A Positive Spin on Controversy
Adidas has ingeniously transformed the negative situation surrounding the split with Ye into a philanthropic initiative.
A portion of the YEEZY sale proceeds will be channeled to organizations committed to combating discrimination and hate, such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change.
This commendable step reinforces Adidas's corporate social responsibility ethos and could possibly influence how brands navigate similar situations in the future. Is this just spin? Or a good-faith move to turn the controversy into a positive impact?
The Secondary Market Impact
The sizeable Adidas YEEZY release is poised to significantly disrupt the secondary market. The dynamics of this market have traditionally been characterized by inflated prices due to limited availability and cultural prestige associated with the YEEZY line.
However, the recent trend of the "Carbon Beluga" secondary market prices with only slight uplift from retail pricing could be an early indicator of changing consumer sentiment.
The influx of YEEZY shoes from this unexpected release might tip the scales of supply and demand, thereby normalizing prices and redefining YEEZY's "hype" sneaker status.
The YEEZY Trajectory Post Adidas
Or perhaps Yeezys aren't as in demand as they were before the partnership ended?
Despite the Adidas split, Ye retains ownership of the YEEZY brand. While Adidas claims all design rights of the existing YEEZY products, Ye has been quick to pivot, launching a new YEEZY clothing line that pointedly excludes footwear.
The evolution of the YEEZY brand in the absence of Adidas remains uncertain. With Ye known for his unpredictability, the future trajectory of YEEZY could encompass a multitude of directions, potentially introducing new partnerships or product focus.
Implications for the Sneaker Industry
The unforeseen Adidas YEEZY release carries profound implications for the sneaker industry. This move underlines the intersection of celebrity partnerships, brand values, and financial sustainability.
Yeezy sneakers have been a cornerstone brand of sneaker reselling for years.
With Adidas pushing out inventory without Kanye's marque brand power endorsement, what will become of the brand? Will this kill the hype? Has the hype already died? Or will Yeezys see new highs?
As brands navigate the delicate balancing act, this development is a stark reminder that in the sneaker world, the only certainty is change itself.