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Why Kanye West’s Sneakers Aren’t Selling Out (Or: How I Ended Up With $900 Worth Of Yeezys)

April 15, 2019 by freemexy  

“Congratulations — You won!” it read. I opened it and learned I’d won a pair of Yeezys. By “won” it meant I won the right to buy a pair. Specifically, the $300 Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Mauve EE9614.Yeezy 500 Discount online with hgih quality
Then another email came, an hour later. “You won! You are the online raffle Winner!” Another arrived that evening. This one was in all caps: “YEEZY BOOST 700 ‘MAUVE’ IN-STORE RAFFLE WINNER.” I’d gone from Yeezy-less to West-full, spending $900 on brown sneakers in one day. I’d been entering raffles for almost every single Yeezy that’s ever been released. How the hell did I win three at the end of October?

I am a sneakerhead. I have 60 pairs of sneakers. I have enough pairs that I’m just estimating, really. I also don’t particularly love spending money, so a lot of my kicks were purchased off clearance racks at outlets—where already-discounted sneakers are discounted again. Because I’m me, I even remember specific deals I got. The pair of KDs I play basketball in cost me $38 at Ross. The LD-1000 x Roche hybrid sneakers were $12.51 at a Nike outlet. These generic, super-comfortable Air Maxes, which didn’t even have a box and I have no idea what model they are, were at the outlets for $8. I will even rank the Philadelphia-area Nike outlets for you: Atlantic City, Franklin Mills, Reading, Limerick, Gloucester.

But, because I’m prone to hype and I like fashion, I also traffic in higher-end sneakers. I wear my Jordan XI Breds with my black suit. I once camped out at a sneaker store for limited-edition New Balances which now reside on my dresser in a fancy wooden box. I have bought kicks from the Shoezeum’s sales.

A lot of sneakers are sold in raffles. I enter lots, and almost never win. I also have long been a fan of Kanye West as a musician, and I was interested in Yeezy sneakers. I once decided I was going to leave a job because I could not get the day off to go on a scavenger hunt to win the chance to buy Yeezys from a sneaker store. They were hyped. They were limited. I wanted his Nike sneakers. When he moved to Adidas, I wanted those sneakers. But I kept losing raffles. It was fine. Whatever. I didn’t really need them.

Sneakers are like high fashion. A lot of stuff that’s really cool is so because it’s exclusive. But even my $900 worth of Yeezys aren’t that expensive compared to high-end designer brands. Sneakers are relatively cheap at retail. They become exclusive (and expensive, on the resale market) due to intentional scarcity. Every Yeezy sneaker until last weekend has basically sold out instantly.

So why doesn’t Adidas, and why didn’t Nike before it, simply make more to meet demand? Because the idea is to create artificial scarcity to build hype. Yeezys are not Starburys. Yeezy sneakers are hot not just because they’re endorsed by a popular musician (who got more famous when he married into a family with a TV show). They’re hot because they’re hard to get. It’s a con, but it works. “I’m gonna make sure everyone gets Yeezys,” which West said in 2015, was long a joke. Adidas doesn’t make many of them.