The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 57 — Yeezy is officially an empire

And Kanye really wants you to know that

Good morning, folks! Happy Monday! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. Let’s make this week a fantastic one!

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Alright, let’s get into it.


Yeezy made Kanye West an actual billionaire

(Photo by Jannis Lucas on Unsplash)

Kanye West once told us that if he had a billion dollars he’d spend it all in a day. Well, part one of that process has been accomplished. If you missed it over the weekend, Ye did a mini-press run sending receipts and balance sheets to everyone who would take them to proclaim his status as a billionaire.

His long-desired status as a billionaire was finally made official in Forbes on Saturday after the magazine projected him to fall just shy that level in 2019.

Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.26 billion. A far cry from the $3 billion he claimed in the same piece, but a billion nonetheless.

The fulcrum behind it all is Yeezy. West owns 100% of the company, per Forbes, but it gets complicated. He has full creative control but Adidas markets and distributes all of his creations. That comes at a cost.

Essentially, this into one massive royalty play on sales for West. But that’s still extremely valuable when you consider where Yeezy started.

  • Remember, it was just in 2015 that West claimed to be “broke” and $53 million in debt behind investments into Yeezy. He was literally on the internet begging for money.

  • Today, that very franchise that had West broke was reportedly valued $3 billion in September, according to reporting from Bloomberg. Forbes also projects West’s royalties on Yeezy’s 2019 sales to be at $140 million.

That’s an unprecedented rise that we haven’t really ever seen before. It’s grown from an upstart into a legit powerhouse in the fashion industry with footwear being its bread and butter. Yeezy hasn’t even been around for a decade, yet its already crossed the billion dollar threshold. That’s extremely impressive.

Despite it’s quick march to the top of the sneaker world, it’s not quite Jordan Brand level just yet.

Jordan Brand just had a billion dollar quarter and its wholesale revenue was projected at $3.14 billion last year. Yeezy has a while to go before it catches that. But it’s well on the way.

  • This all comes with a caveat. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Whatever numbers and projections the entire industry had before the start of March? Throw ‘em out the window. Footwear, as a whole, is projected to plunge in revenue by 79%, per Bloomberg.

We’ve finally reached the end of this “Is Kanye West a billionaire?” saga and, man, was it ever tiring. It’s also so extremely Kanye that he literally called people up to make sure they knew how much he was worth. Congrats, I guess?

Anyway, let’s hope that now that we have this news we can see less 350 v2s. Because we’re tired of ‘em.

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Travis Scott goes digital

(Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash)

Speaking of building empires, Travis Scott is well on his way. He doesn’t have a Yeezy quite yet but you can definitely see the makings of something coming here.

Scott took his talents into game systems everywhere last Thursday and hosted a concert/animated short dubbed “Astronomical.” I didn’t see the concert live because I absolutely stink at Fortnite, but it seemed like a pretty wild digital experience. Suuuper trippy.

Of course, we should expect nothing less from one of Kanye’s concigliares.

This thing did NUMBERS, y’all. Honestly, that’s probably underselling it a bit. This was a huge moment for Scott and literally every facet of his brand.

  • Epic Games announced that 12.3 million concurrent players jumped in to peep Scott’s digital concert. That’s A LOT of people.

  • Scott’s music streams jumped by 26% ahead of the concert on Monday and Tuesday, per Rolling Stone.

  • He immediately started selling merch on his wesbite after the concet including vinyls for his new track along with $75 action figures and $65 nerf guns. They're all sold out.

  • Don’t worry, he didn’t leave his sneakers out, either. The game sold Travis Scott “skins” players could equip with his Jordan 1’s on it.

Travis shifted multiple mediums with this. He used a video game to throw a live show, sell merchandise and release a whole single. By the way, it shot up the Apple Music and Spotify charts.

This is what marketing looks like in 2020. Fortnite x Travis Scott x Jordan Brand x whatever else jumps in the picture. Talk about setting the bar. I fully expect his next sneaker drop to be released digitally on NBA 2k or something.


A good look at the Freak 2

We got an unofficial look at Giannis Antetokounmpo’s next signature sneaker a few weeks ago and the results were not very flattering.

Official photos of the Freak 2 are finally available and the shoe looks much better than originally anticipated. Still not great, but better.

‼️First Look at the @giannis_an34 signature Nike Zoom Freak 2, featuring “Charles & Veronica” on the sole and “Greek” and “Freak” on back of each shoe.
April 23, 2020

Leaked sneaker pictures are almost never very good. Sometimes they’re samples — incomplete projects that, somehow, make their way on to the internet. It’s not always fair to judge as a result.

With that being said, we still need more looks of this joint. This still feels like a step back for Giannis line in terms of the way it looks.

  • The shoe feels extremely blocky, unlike the Zoom Freak 1. The design felt more sleek and creative. This feels like a fusion of things we’ve already seen before.

  • The details are a nice touch. Seeing the “Greek” and “Freak” inscriptions on the back does add a nice touch and having his parent’s names inscribed is extremely charming.

It’s hard to sell those details, though, when the shoe doesn’t look that great. As we get more official pictures, we’ll have a better idea of how this shoe will look. But right now? Just my opinion: It’s a step back.


Highway robbery on Sneaker Shopping

This video of celebrities making stink faces after getting rung up on Complex’s Sneaker Shopping show is the best thing you’ll watch today.

Two minutes and twenty seconds of highway robbery, fam. Unbelievable.

First off, it is very good to know that I am not the only one in the world who questions these INSANE prices on Sneaker Shopping.

Second, big shouts to the DMV’s own YBN Cordae for being humble enough to tell the cashier to take a pair of shoes back. Big respect. “You can take them joints off, I don’t even like ‘em.” I’ve never felt a sentence more in my life.

Third, PJ Tucker is very clearly over this process. And I can’t blame him. Bruh dropped 16 racks on shoes.

Look at my man on the walk out. He is SICK. I’ve never had more in common with an NBA player — except this is me after spending $200 as opposed to $16,000. But yeah! I feel it!

Anyway, the whole video is definitely worth a watch. Hella “I’ve won, but at what cost?” vibes going down here. So many good laughs. It’s worth your time.

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What’s droppin’, bruh


Thank you for spending a bit of you Monday with me, family! I appreciate y’all. We finna have an amazing week this week. I’m already sharp.

Don’t forget, tell a friend to tell another friend to subscribe! I’m trying to buy somebody some kicks soon! Let’s get it poppin!

I’ll see you again on Friday, family. Same time. Until then, you know what it is. As always, peace and love. Be easy. Be well. Be kind.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯