The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 37 — Yeezy's next wave is coming
It's about time.
|Mike D. Sykes, II||Feb 17|
Good morning, y’all! Happy Monday! It’s President’s Day, so hopefully some of y’all are enjoying a Monday off. Thank you so much for giving me a little bit of that time today! Hope you had a great weekend.
Today’s shoutout goes to Aaron Gordon who SHOULD HAVE WON THE DUNK CONTEST. DON’T @ ME.
With that out of the way, let’s dive in.
Waves don’t die
A few months back on this very platform, we explored whether or not Kanye West’s Yeezy empire could potentially be a billion dollar entity by the end of 2019.
It didn’t feel like a plausible thing at the time. Not to say that Yeezy wasn’t on its way to becoming a billion dollar entity, but it felt like it was too soon. There were too many conflicting numbers and the hype had died down with more product available.
Today, things feel quite different. That billion dollar number is still probably a bit of a reach, but for the first time in a a long time it felt like Yeezy had their collective feet on our necks thanks to the debut of the Yeezy Quantum.
People went crazy for these. Folks were chasing them down trying to get pairs while they were giving them out in Chicago’s streets from these weird Sherp trucks.
They had some folks literally giving the shoes off of their feet for pairs. Not just shoes — the FEAR OF GODS, y’all.
All of a sudden, the hype behind Yeezy felt very 2016-ish. We haven’t seen this kind of craze for a shoe in a while — let alone a shoe that was primarily designed for basketball.
All-Star weekend was a big moment for Yeezy and they took a page out of their own book to make it pop.
They generated their own hype by cutting supply. Only 5,000 pairs were available throughout the weekend, according to reports, and only in Chicago on THIS weekend.
They also had the built in advantage of West building up the hype for this shoe by teasing it for a couple of years. They probably didn’t even need to cut supply.
Plus, it’s All-Star weekend — the sneaker industry’s most important weekend of the year. This was Yeezy’s biggest foray, by far, into the weekend.
You add all those things up and that equals an internet chock full of people with bated breath trying to figure out how to get their hands on these joints — myself included.
This is a big deal for Yeezy. For the first time ever, they can now have a product that is premium while also producing enough on the back end to put a Yeezy shoe on the foot of whoever wants one.
That has always been the difference between Yeezy and Jordan Brand — the mark Yeezy has always tried to hit.
Jordan has 35 years worth of silhouettes people can go to in a plethora of different colorways — some exclusive, some not. Yeezy has never had that.
Now, it’s apparent, they’re building toward it. By no means have they closed that gap. It’ll take a while to get there, but at least the vision is clear.
If you had told me that Kanye West would reinvigorate his brand and his image with a basketball shoe in, like, 2010 I would’ve laughed at you. Now, here we are. Yeezy flipped the industry on it’s head once and now, it seems, he’s going to try and do it again.
First, though, they’ve got to get somebody to actually play well in this shoe. Because Zach LaVine’s 3-point contest showing was, uh — how can I say this nicely — not it. And did Brandon Ingram REALLY play in the All-Star game? I’m kidding…kind of.
What basketball’s sneaker future might look like
Last week when we were talking about All-Star weekend I told y’all I had no idea what the future of basketball and sneakers looked like.
I think we may be getting a glimpse of it through deals like this one that the Wizards’ rookie Rui Hachimura just did with GOAT.
Hachimura, just like Kyle Kuzma, signed a multi-year endorsement deal with GOAT.
Hachimura, already a Jordan Brand athlete, will get a chance to dig through GOAT’s virtual crates for old goodies from Jordan Brand plus he’ll have access to their streetwear offerings, too.
I said it before with Kuzma and I’ll say it again — this deal is absolutely brilliant. In 2020, every player should have a deal like this. It’s the perfect companion to go along with the sneaker deals they already have. We should expect it more as we move forward.
The look they wear into the arena in the walk-in tunnel is the most important moment now. This is what shows up most on Instagram and gets players noticed.
What kicks they bring to the game is secondary. We’re living in a world where no one cares about the latest with the LeBron 17 or what Kyrie Irving’s next signature shoe is going to be. What they do care about, though, is where player X got those dope shoes from that he walked in with.
There are two things we need to watch for from this news. What player will be signing a deal like this next and what brand will jump in on something like this next.
GOAT started a trend, but they certainly won’t be the only ones doing it for long. It’s too much of a layup.
Somebody save Under Armour — plz
This might be a hot take, and just hear me out on this, but sometimes dying with a sinking ship really isn’t the right way to go.
Somebody should’ve let Under Armour know that years ago when they chose to double down on performance. That’s what they’ve been doing since they had that big explosion in 2016. Guess what? Hasn’t worked.
55% over the last 5 years — that’s how much their stock has dropped, per Yahoo! Finance editor Brian Sozzi. And they’re still sinking. Just last week, their stock dipped by 19%. Big yikes, y’all.
Under Armour has a lot of problems that won’t go away. They’re too busy shuffling so much money around trying to clean up problems that they overlooked during their rise.
They’ve also been so focused on performance that, even if they got that shelf space back, none of it would matter. Their stuff works great! But it looks bad. Case in point: This Gizmodo headline.
Under Armour has always been a performance based company that thinks about look second. Competitors like Nike, Adidas and Lululemon, on the other hand, have mastered that combo.
I’ll tell you what, man. Patrik Frisk, the brand’s new CEO, is about to earn every single dollar. Because, MAN, do these problems run deep.
Somebody pour dude a drink. He’s going to need a few.
New Balance loves D.C.
They love the city so much they dropped a 990 in a Mumbo Sauce colorway. This has got to be the dopest thing ever.
For those of you who don’t know, Mumbo sauce is the unofficial official sauce of the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and parts of Virginia). Here’s a recipe — get hip to it.
Come through the city and I’ll buy you some chicken with the extra Mumbo. You’ll never want to leave.
Here’s a look at the shoe along with a Maryland Blue Crab joint that looks just as dope.
Man, it is the coolest thing in the world when brands embrace the regionality of their sneakers. The 990 is absolutely a D.C. staple and it’s great to see New Balance pay homage to the city like this. I will absolutely be copping a pair of the mumbo sauce joints.
Get me hip to some other regional joints. What are some of the shoes folks from your hometown absolutely love to rock? Let your boy know. I’m tryna learn about your culture.
What’s droppin’ bruh
Nike BHM Collection — Tuesday, February 18
Jordan Max 200 XX — Thursday, February 20
Nike “Dorothy Gaters” Blazer — Friday, February 21
Yeezy 350 v2 “Tail Light” — Saturday, February 22
Yeezy 350 v2 “Earth” — Saturday, February 22
That’s a wrap for Monday, y’all! Thank you so much for your time. Hope you continue to enjoy the holiday and have yourself a kick ass week.
As always, if there’s anything with the newsletter you think I can do better or anything that you feel like I’m missing in terms of coverage, holla at your boy. Bless.
Love y’all. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be kind.