The Most Expensive Shoes In The Yeezy Empire

Written by The Heat Team

07 Jan 2021

Last year, Forbes published a report on Kanye West’s financial assets and declared him an official member of the billionaire club. The majority of his wealth is owed to his Yeezy sneaker empire, which is currently valued at $1.26 billion. Back in 2015, Kanye West called into ‘On Air with Ryan Seacrest’, and told fans to “be patient” because “Eventually, everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezy.” His promise seemed doubtful at the time, considering when the Yeezy 350 first released, spotting one on the street was few and far between. Released in limited qualities, the sneakers seemed to exist more on Instagram than in real life, it was hard to believe that those lucky enough to secure a pair would un-deadstock them, rather than encase their prized possession in a glass box. Those who weren’t so lucky would go to great lengths to get their hands on a pair, whether it was finding a convincing bootleg, or paying a premium—the debut colourway of Yeezy Boosts 350, Turtledoves, hit a peak resell price of $2,055 in January 2017.

Half a decade later, it seems the rapper-turned-fashion-designer, has stuck true to his word. Currently, Yeezys are everywhere. Rather than the usual complaints about the shoes selling out in a matter of seconds, sneaker enthusiasts marvelled that they could obtain a pair with ease. The mass-market release of the Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 in 2019 indicates that the brand is shifting gears, a tactic which seemed to be working if you weigh in the fact that Kanye made $140 million off his sneakers alone that same year. Although Yeezys are now more readily available, a number of earlier editions remain in an unattainable league. The sneaker that is notoriously known as the most expensive and the hardest to procure, is none other than the Red Octobers, made before ‘Yeezy jumped over Jumpman’. The most lucrative model of Air Yeezy 2s to exist, and definitely the most talked-about model, it is a shoe shrouded in unrivalled hype, controversy, and marked the end of Kanye’s affiliation with Nike. Initially priced $245, it was listed on eBay for an outrageous price of $16.3 million following its release in 2014. Although admittedly, the average resell price can range anywhere between $6,500 and $15,000.

The chronicle of the Red Octobers is a long and complicated one which originated in 2012. Months after the limited release of the ‘Black/Solar Red’ and ‘Pure Platinum’ Air Yeezy 2s, Vice President of Footwear at Nike’s Jordan brand, Gentry Humphrey,  responded to a fan on Twitter who enquired about a possible third colorway of said shoe. His response, “things r still n the works” was enough to arouse speculations from the sneaker community, but it wasn’t until a year when the public would finally catch a glimpse of the luminous red Air Yeezy 2.

In 2013, Kanye delivered a loud and aggressive new sound on the Saturday Night Live stage for the debut of his upcoming album. His energetic performance matched the fire-red hue of the shoes on his feet—the mysterious, never-before seen Red Octobers, which sent sneaker fans wild. Speculations of a ‘golden ticket’ packaged in physical copies of the album surfaced, which led to 327,000 sales of the album in its first week. Later proved to be untrue, Kanye added fuel to the fire when he immortalised the shoe in his song “Hold My Liquor”, as he rapped “Yeezy's all on your sofa / These the Red Octobers”. Finally, just days after YEEZUS dropped, Kanye took to twitter to announce an exclusive contest to win the highly-anticipated sneakers via his website, choosing 24 lucky winners in August.

Kanye sent emotions plummeting further when he took to the stage to slam Nike on the media run for the YEEZUS Tour. The rapper promptly swapped his Red Octobers, to Margielas in his performances before announcing a deal with Adidas in November. Fans mourned as hopes of ever getting a pair diminished. Then, Nike sent shockwaves throughout the sneaker world by unexpectedly releasing the Red Octobers via a Twitter link  on February 9, 2014, where the shoes sold out immediately. 

With all that being said, it’s clear that Kanye is nothing if not full of surprises… so, what to expect next? Ahead of the Yeezy GAP partnership this year, we’ll be at the edge of our seats in anticipation. 

The Most Expensive Shoes In The Yeezy Empire

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