Before Mr West started his hypebeast centric adidas Yeezy collaborations, it was Nike that first tapped into the superstars design talents. Check out our comprehensive guide on all you need to know about the Nike Air Yeezy 1 trainers.
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For their first ever non-athlete collaborative collection Nike scooped up Kanye West’s talents for, what ended up being, quite a short-lived relationship. Despite the questionable comments thrown around post-collab, Nike’s creative director Mark Smith has spoken highly of Kanye since, and positive comments have been reciprocated by West.
The result of the collaboration was two editions of the rappers eponymous ‘Yeezy’ trainer collections – the Air Yeezy and Air Yeezy II.
- Featured the same sole as the Air Jordan III
- Textured cross strap
- Wrapped in full grain leather
- Stitched suede to wrap
Developed between 2007-2009, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 was a long speculated collaboration between the iconic sportswear brand and American rapper Kanye West. On the very early prototypes, the shoe used LED lights implanted in the outsole but battery issues meant the idea was scrapped.
After several prototypes, colour options and construction updates several different colourways were selected, only to be cancelled at the last minute. The remains, are what became the original Air Yeezys collection. They were released in three colourways – black/pink, net and zen grey, all of which sold out immediately.
After a 2009 interview with Kanye West and Mark Smith which alluded to ‘unused prototypes’, the speculation for a second collection of Air Yeezy’s began. In actual fact, Nathan VanHook ended up being the collaborator for the second collection of Nike Yeezys. Some of the design updates for the second season included; less padding on the upper, shorter cut for mobility and a generally slimmer build.
On May 29, 2012, the official announcement of the second Air Yeezy collection was made by Nike. 5000 of each colourway was released to, once again, a ravenous sneakerhead audience which saw prices skyrocket to well over $5,000 – for what was originally a $245 trainer.
Original Release Date
Original Model Name
Nike Air Yeezy 1
Key Drop Variations
The two Nike Air Yeezy collections only featured three colourways. For the Air Yeezy II collection however, the Yeezy Red October colourway received a lot of attention being sold exclusively on the Nike website.