‘Everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys!’
That sub-head you just read was Kanye West’s statement when the first few Yeezys dropped back in 2015. I remember those times, as the first Yeezy drops (the “Gray” and “Black” 750 Boosts and the “Turtle Dove”, “Pirate Black”, “Moonrock” and “Oxford Brown” 350 Boosts) were not easy to cop. Raffles were abundant, and there was visibly only a few pairs sold at retailers like Sole Academy, Commonwealth PH, and adidas NBHD. Heck, even Univers did sell Yeezys and only god knows why they have stopped selling Yeezys since the “Moonrock” 350 Boosts.
Three years ago, having a pair of Yeezys was literally copping a grail pair. I still remember the joy of getting my hands on the “Pirate Black” 350 Boosts (thank you Sole Academy!) as they were really, really hard to get unless I resorted to the reseller route. Back then, Yeezys went for as high as Php 90k for the “Turtle Dove” 350 Boosts and “Light Grey” 750 Boosts, and the “Pirate Black” 350 Boosts were being sold for Php 60K—an insane price for an adidas sneaker, but “justifiable” for a sneaker that is marketed as high fashion.
2016 came along, and adidas released more 350 Boosts—this time in the chunkier V2 form. This meant more colorways, a broader sizing range (there was even Yeezys for infants if you want your kid to be a hypebeast at a young age), but with roughly the same price as the V1 350 Boosts. This time around, resell prices became tamer: one could get a 350 V2 Boost “Beluga” for slightly lower than the asking price for the 350 “Pirate Black”, and other colorways demanded a lower price—some being as low as Php 40K, which was a big deal back then.
The accessibility of Yeezys improved from 2017 onwards with more Yeezy 350 V2 colorways and the introduction of new models such as the 500 “Desert Rat”, 700 “Wave Runner”, 950 “Hiking Boot”, and so much more. However, these new models became a hard sell on the resell market due to their high retail prices: the Boost-less 500 sold for Php 11,000, while the Boost-equipped 700 dad shoe sold for a more expensive Php 16,000.
But not all Yeezys are pricey either: The 80’s inspired Powerphase was “affordable” at Php 6,500, and you can easily grab a pair from resellers for as low as Php 8,000 (or lower if you are persistent enough).
Recently, the “Mauve” Yeezy 700 Boost dropped this weekend, and while it is sold out in the Philippines, you can easily grab a pair abroad via adidas’ online store or StockX. If you choose to go the reseller route, you can get one around Php 18,000—or around Php 2k above retail. Heck, you can get a pair of Yeezy 350 V2 Boosts—specifically the “Cream” and “Blue Tint” colorways—for under Php 20K. Three years since Kanye transferred to #Teamadidas, and a lot has changed.
With more Yeezys available in the market, along with lower resell prices, does this mean that the Yeezy hype is dead? If you ask me, I don’t think that the hype is as dead as one would think. The hype is still there, but it is less noticeable because 1) there are more Yeezys to choose from, 2) adidas has been producing more Yeezys than ever, and 3) they are relatively affordable compared to other high fashion sneakers.
I’m not kidding about the third statement: even at an SRP of Php 16,000 for the “Mauve” 700 Boosts, they are affordable compared to sneakers by high fashion brands. For reference, Balenciaga’s popular Triple S dad shoe sneakers retail for around Php 50,000, while Gucci’s famous Tennis Sneakers will fetch you around Php 35,000. Louis Vuitton’s ridiculously-looking Archlight sneakers sell for almost Php 60k. Even with those insane prices, they 1) have similar aesthetics to most Yeezys, and 2) are popular to consumers, especially celebrities and influencers. So for someone who wants to do high fashion getups (or to dress up as their favorite celebrity), buying Yeezys is the most affordable option.
At the end of the day, Yeezys are still Yeezys. Even if they are not as hyped as before, Kanye fulfilled his promise of Yeezys for everyone by offering different models at different price points. Frankly speaking, now is the best time to rock Yeezys because it is more accessible than ever while at the same time still has that same exclusivity from three years ago. They are a fashion statement, and they will continue to be in the coming months.
Virgil Abloh’s Off-White sneakers (and the brand itself) are getting all the hype right now, and I fearlessly predict that in the next two or three years they will be as accessible as Kanye’s Yeezy line. After all, the hype for these high-end fashion designers will fade in the coming years, but not to the point of totally fading away from the spotlight.