While we personally have a lot of love for Kanye, we know Mr. West always has a lot to say and we look back at some of his most memorable quotes in regards to sneakers.
There’s no question that any sneaker release officially attached to Kanye’s name has generated widespread publicity and giant demand. And with that kind of influence, and Kanye’s track record for never being bashful when it comes to his design/creative prowess, you know a quote or two is going to come out where it might leave you scratching your head. Take a look and please let us know in the comments section below which boastful ‘Ye quote ranks as your favorite!
"The only reason why Brand Jordan is relevant is because of two people - me and Don C."
Has Kanye West been responsible for a portion of the increase of Jordan Brand’s mainstream popularity? Perhaps. There are a lot of eyes on what the man wears. That much is certain. But to outright state that the only reason they’re relevant is because of ‘Ye and Don C.? That’s some Kanye-being-Kanye type of stuff right there.
"Ain't trying to stunt man, but the Yeezy jumped over the Jumpman."
Yes, the Nike and subsequent adidas Yeezy lines have been massively successful, but more than Jordan? Nah. As they say; numbers don’t lie. According to Business Insider, Jordan Brand sold $2.5 billion worth of sneakers in 2013…that’s billion with a big “B.” And sure, Yeezys are known for their crazy resale prices. But even if the sneaker companies were profiting off those numbers (they’re not), they still wouldn’t come close to that $2.5 billion figure.
[From Kanye’s song New God Flow]
“Do you know who the head of Nike is? No? Well, let me tell you who he is. His name is Mark Parker, and he just lost culture. Everyone at Nike, everyone at Nike, Mark Parker just let go of culture."
Despite what analysts like Matt Powell might think, Nike losing Kanye matters to a lot of people. But to say that they’ve “lost culture” would be a gross overstatement. Nike has proven time and again, that they know their clientele better than almost any brand on the planet. Of course, there are folks who will follow Kanye wherever he goes. But Nike is an absolute beast, and they won’t/didn’t even bat an eyelash.
"Everyone should have the good life... this is very much a Robin Hood approach that I have to making clothes."
Look, it’s a noble approach for him to attempt to make such a highly-desirable product more readily available, at a reasonable cost. But Robin Hood? Come on homie. You got your Kanye check yet? Cause we haven’t.
"I’m gonna get you some of those...We gonna hook you up today, man."
This one blew up on sneaker blogs across the internet when it broke a few weeks back. Long story short; Ye promised to give Yeezys to some random guy at the airport if he threw his Nike’s in the trash. But as of late-February, Ye hasn’t delivered. Sure, he might actually end up giving the dude a pair of Yeezys eventually. But, as of this writing, that has yet to happen.
"Eventually everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys."
You never know, right? That COULD be true at some point in the future. Adidas could eventually produce enough Yeezy Boosts that they flood the market and you could walk into your local brick-and-mortar and grab your size for retail. Or maybe ‘Ye meant that there would eventually be enough sneakers in the adidas Yeezy line that everyone who tries to cop would eventually come up on one. Maybe he meant something in between. But, from where we’re sitting today, we think this is pretty unlikely. Not only is the current price point of the Yeezy Boost prohibitive to many, but if the production runs of future Yeezy releases resembles anywhere near the first one, it’s pretty unlikely that everybody that wants them will get them for $350.
"I don't want to play this sneaker culture game."
Look, we get that ‘Ye has noble intentions when he talks about making his kicks more readily available and reasonably priced. We’re actually stunned that we’re using the words “noble” and Kanye in the same sentence. And we know that there are a lot of hurdles for a designer from pen & paper to retail. But from what we’ve seen thus far, the actions of Kanye and the companies he’s partnered up with have told a different story.
"...in June, we'll see the new Yeezys."
Back in April 2014, at the adidas Global Brand Conference, Kanye yet again whipped the sneaker world into a lather when he announced that we’d see his new Yeezy in June. But shortly after, the folks over at the Three Stripes put the kibosh on that, saying they’d announce more at a later date. June came and went: no new Yeezys. And it wasn’t until November of last year that we got a gander at what was (at that time) just rumored to be the new Yeezy, the so-called “plane pic.” But even then, adidas and even Kanye, were quiet on confirming that. It wasn’t until Ibn Jasper’s Instagram “leak” that took place in early February, just a week from the sneaker’s actual release date, that we basically got an ‘official’ look at the first adidas Yeezy. Look, we know there are always a lot of politics in getting a sneaker design to market. But this was a lot like ‘Ye dubbing those all-red Yeezys the “Red Octobers” and not having them drop until February.
"Humbly, I would say I’m the most influential person in footwear right now. Truthfully, I’m the most influential person in footwear right now."
We usually try and keep a level head when Kanye starts to say Kanye things. But this one had us scratching our heads. Even though our friends over at Complex reluctantly agree, we’re not sure we’re ready to give Yeezy the nod on being the most influential in the world of footwear. Truly, “influence” is a subjective term. And there is no doubt that Kanye is one of most influential people in the footwear game. But, the MOST influential? What about Michael Jordan himself? Mark Parker? LeBron James? This one is tough to argue against in a world where Kanye’s alphets are plastered all over blogs everywhere. But we tend to rank guys like Parker or Jordan just slightly ahead of ‘Ye in terms of influence. It was Parker, after all, that called Kanye’s bluff and sent him packing to adidas, right? Sure, people might not care as much about what MJ or Mark Parker are wearing on a daily basis. But that’s only part of the equation. Call us haters, but in our books, when talking about total influential power, owning (or being in-charge) of the company that actually manufactures the product gives them a bump over the guy designing and wearing it.
"Listen to what I’m saying—me, as Kanye West: I guarantee you, I’m more than 50 percent responsible for every men’s shoe that they sell. Me, the singular person. More than 50 percent responsible for every Balenciaga shoe they sell."
This is another one that we can’t help but laugh at. Again, ‘influence’ is basically impossible to measure in the grand scheme of things when it comes to sales and we definitely won’t deny that Kanye wearing a certain brand has a positive effect on that brand’s bottom line. But 50%? Come on man!
"You can actually play basketball in [the new Yeezy shoe] one better than the other one. First of all, this has got BOOST, which is the best technology, and I’m not just saying that contractually with adidas."
Sure, adidas Boost technology is awesome. We love it, in fact. But just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. While the outsoles might be plush and responsive, that upper support is almost non-existent. For the sake of your ankles, don’t play basketball in your Yeezy 750 Boosts!