Every wondered why Kanye West started the billion dollar Yeezy empire even though we all know him as a rapper and entertainer?
As a matter of fact, designing shoes is what he’s been doing all his life.
It’s just been on the back burner while he focused on his music career.
So why all of a sudden has Kanye decided to start a shoe brand?
Was it for money, was it passion, or was it none of these?
Well I’m going to get to the bottom of things and tell you exactly why Kanye West made Yeezys.
Why Did Kanye Make Yeezys?
Kanye West always had a love for designing shoes.
Throughout his life Kanye he has been sketching shoes.
No really, he was getting in trouble as a middle schooler for sketching shoes in class.
Designing shoes, along with rapping, is his passion but Kanye always put his music career in the forefront.
So when he found himself next to Nike CEO, Mark Parker, on a plane, he decided to draw a sketch for him.
Mark said that Kanye was interesting and he needs to do a shoe with him.
And that’s when Yeezys began.
He used his fame and social media following to kick off his new venture.
When Did Kanye Start Yeezys?
The very first line of Yeezys were called Yeezy 350 and were released on October 29, 2015.
This season 1 collection included 4 different colors: Peyote, Moonrock, Chocolate and Pirate Black.
And they were all priced at a whopping $500!
Of course this was the initial beginning of Yeezys but now in 2020 there has been a few major changes.
But the biggest change?
Yeezys are no longer with Nike! But I’ll talk more about that soon.
The Method to the Madness
There’s a certain reason Kanye does things the exact way he does.
He idolizes Steve Jobs who prefers a limited amount of products while carefully choosing the amount of products to make for the people.
But including them in a wide range of color options.
And that’s Yeezy in a nutshell.
Kanye focused on this type of marketing and that’s why there are a wide range of colors and designs but a small handful available to the public.
And if you manage to get your hands on one, you are a very lucky person.
But It Wasn’t All Roses and Fairies
Unfortunately as with every startup, there are risks involved.
And in this case, Kanye West announced in a Tweet that he was $53 million dollars in debt in 2016 and asked Mark Zuckerberg for a $1 billion dollar loan.
The surprising part (or not so surprising) is that Kanye West has now made the Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest-paid entertainers!
I mean, that’s an astonishing comeback in just a 3 short years if you ask me.
How did this man gain this much success in a short amount of time?
It was Kanyes’ marketing strategies which I’ll cover at the bottom of this article..
Why Did Kanye Leave Nike?
In a nutshell, Kanye left Nike because they weren’t going to pay him royalties for the sales of his shoes.
Instead they wanted to pay the money to a charity of his choice.
And they wouldn’t give Kanye an option. It was either take it or leave it, so Kanye did what any other entrepreneur would do and left.
Kanye said that Mark Parker didn’t even want to talk to him about changing the policy.
Kanye felt that Nike was treating him like just another celebrity.
But because Yeezys had the same impact as Air Jordans when they first started, he wanted to do more with his brand and Nike wouldn’t let him.
Adidas welcomed Kanye with open arms and the CEO of Adidas actually allowed him to build something bigger.
He moved on to Adidas and is now a force to be reckoned with.
Nikes’ top selling shoe, Air Jordans, earned $3 billion dollars in 2019.
Yeezys earned a whopping $1.3 billion dollars!
Not bad for a shoe that’s not even 5 years old. And those numbers are only going to increase as the years go by.
If Yeezys actually surpasses Jordans, that would be the ultimate humiliation for Nike.
All In All, Kanye Is a Marketing Genius
Kanye is very smart and one of his biggest strengths is releasing Yeezys in a limited stock.
He knows how to create scarcity and hype.
Now there’s a cult of Yeezy fans all over the world who love and worship this dude.
I mean, his nick name is Yeezus for crying out loud.
The internet really is creative and you can’t help but laugh at all the weird things that go on inside the world of the internet.
Well that concludes this article on Kanye and his billion dollar Yeezy empire.
I’m open for discussion so please leave all your questions and concerns in the comments below!
Otherwise thanks for reading and have a great day.