Kanye West's haute couture Yeezy sneakers, a limited edition shoe, sold out soon after its release. People pre-ordered the shoes using an app on their smartphones. The shoes sell at $350 retail, while ebay stores are selling the sneakers at $1000. Most of the hype about these sneakers is likely the result of the shoes affiliation with the well-known, yet controversial singer, Kanye West who handed out the shoes personally to customers at a SoHo Adidas shop. There is the element of exclusivity.Many celebrities wear them, and people want to be like celebrities. It is unclear if there will be more sneakers produced. It is impressive that the shoes are 10 years in the making. If it is a publicity stunt, it is a well-planned one.
He would obviously benefit from the publicity. He stands to benefit tremendously, with more money and fame. People want to make as much money as they can, and this is just another way for him to try and do so as well. We will likely see more of this type of thing.
Though West has benefited from the hysteria surrounding celebrity sneaker releases—he gave away 50 pairs of red Air Yeezy IIs earlier this year to help promote his latest album—he may now try to the buck the trend of celebrity shoes being elaborate marketing ploys. Before leaving Nike, he expressed frustration to anyone and everyone about not being able to distribute the Air Yeezys in wider numbers. “Nike would make you believe it was my fault that you couldn’t get them, but that was not the case,” he said during a stop in Nashville on his current tour. “I wanted there to be as many Yeezys as there was LeBrons, and I wanted them to be at a good price, but that was not my choice, and we’re going to change everything.”
Kanye did not create Yeezy sneakers for publicity. Fashion is actually a major hobby for Kanye West, and creating his own line of clothing and sneakers is part of his dream. Although the Yeezy sneakers were a huge hit everywhere, they were not created solely as a selfish publicity stunt.