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Worst Thing Ever: Yeezy Sneakers

| Thursday, February 12, 2015

WorstThingEver_BannerWEBErin Rice | The Observer

Modern pop culture is an interesting phenomenon. It’s an obsession for me. Between Facebook, Twitter, reddit, MySpace, AIM and whatever other outdated technology I’m hooked to, I’m constantly searching for any update I can get on the celebrity trends that make up the 24-hour news cycle. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, my editor lets me write about these important new pieces of culture that will shift the paradigm of our very existence. Like shoes.

On Saturday, 9,000 pairs of Kanye West’s latest fashion project, the adidas Yeezy 750 Boost, will drop. Also on Saturday, I won’t be getting a pair. Not because I don’t have $350 to drop on something as inane as sneakers or that I live an hour away from the nearest adidas outlet, but because I honestly think they’re the worst thing ever.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Kanye West fan. All four of my roommates can begrudgingly attest to that fascination, especially since “Yeezus” is the only thing we listen to in my car on our trips to Meijer. It’s just that everything surrounding these sneakers, as hideous as they are, has been so ludicrous that I think the entire sneakerhead industry needs to take a step back and calm down.

I mean, seriously, the hype campaign alone for these new Yeezy shoes has been absolutely absurd. Adidas has done about everything it can to make this shoe seem as exclusive and as high-end as possible. For months, both adidas and Kanye have been as tightlipped as possible about their first shoe collaboration, occasionally dropping a hint here and there about how awesome the shoes would be. Meanwhile, Kanye’s friends have been hyping up the shoes, including Big Sean and Theophilus London, who claimed that these would be “the future of sneakers.” That’s a pretty big claim for a shoe that has turned out to be as exciting and grey as the South Bend sky in the dead of winter.

Then, adidas announced that it had developed an app called “Confirmed” with the sole purpose of reserving shoes such as the Yeezy Boosts as soon as pickup dates are announced. On Feb. 5, Kanye linked to the mysterious website “yeezy.supply” on his Twitter. When you followed the link, a countdown timer to 4 p.m. EST on Feb. 12 appeared. No one on the internet knew what the timer meant when it first came out. A number of people claimed that we would finally hear about Kanye’s highly anticipated new album. Then the news came out that it was just for the announcement of the “Kanye West x adidas” shoe, and sneakerheads everywhere freaked out.

After all this hype though, adidas or Kanye didn’t even get the opportunity to reveal the shoe first in the end, because Kanye’s friend Ibn Jasper leaked a picture of them on Instagram on Feb. 6. It didn’t matter to them, though, as the Instagram photo just became kindle for the flames of hype and demand. So more and more announcements about the official announcement came out.

The yeezy.supply website updated with the news that you could reserve tickets to see a live stream of the announcement at 50 theaters worldwide. What are you doing with your life if you’re able to go to a movie theater in downtown Chicago in the middle of a Thursday to watch a live stream about an announcement that you already know about?

I honestly just do not get the shoe or the hype. The shoes aren’t that good looking. The strap is about the same color and size as duct tape, and the rest of the shoe is the same color and material as an Ugg boot. So I guess it costs $350 for me to feel like a #basic Notre Dame girl?

“But these shoes are going to be worth the hype just because of the exclusivity,” you may say. “There’s only 9,000 pairs!” Wrong. Kanye confirmed in an interview with Ryan Seacrest this week that more pairs of the shoes would be made so that “everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys.” So while traditional adidas or Nike special sneakers will be worth more down the line, like Kanye’s Nike Air Yeezy Red October collaboration — which can go for as high as $20,000 on eBay right now — these ones will not.

No matter how I may feel about these shoes and the artificial hype that exists for them, I do not have a doubt that the initial run of the Yeezy Boosts will all sell out on Saturday. So I guess Kanye and adidas did their job, and 9,000 lucky people will be running around on Valentine’s Day with $350 Uggs.

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About Jimmy Kemper

Scene writer, Economics major, and Seinfeld enthusiast

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