Major Retailers React To Kanye West’s FN ‘Shoe of the Year’ Award

In the wake of Footwear News‘ announcement that Kanye West’s Adidas Yeezy Boost will be crowned its 2015 Shoe of the Year, both industry and consumer response has been overwhelming.

The award recognizes the tremendous and endless demand for all things Yeezy this year. Each release from West and Adidas, was met with a stampede of sneakerheads, industry players and fashion-forward devotees trying to secure a pair of the coveted sneakers.

Store lines began forming the night before each drop, servers crashed, were re-booted and then crashed again — and the resale value of the pairs went through the roof. Bottom line: Not a single stockist was able to keep up with the demand.

Major retailers, from Foot Locker to MrPorter.com, Barneys New York and Shiekh Shoes, have weighed in, offering their thoughts on the award and its recipient.

What did they have to say? Read on.

Dick Johnson
President & CEO, Foot Locker
“When you’ve got a person who has as much social relevance as Kanye [West] and he’s putting his mark on a sneaker with a good brand, it creates conversation, and it creates heat around his specific sneaker — and the brand in general. Kanye is able to create a tremendous social buzz around the things he does and the things he brings into the social sphere — the Yeezy being one of them. He’s created a shoe that sneakerheads appreciate, he lends it credibility and the social buzz he created took the sneaker world by storm this year.”

Sam Lobban
Buying manager, MrPorter.com
“The Yeezy 350 Boost was so successful because of a number of reasons, but at the core of these is the perfect ‘fashion launch’ equation: a great product coupled with a relevant, giant cultural icon. The sneaker itself was innovative, but at the same time super-relevant. And Kanye West’s widespread fashion appeal has never been farther-reaching. The fact that they were a limited release created huge demand, and this was backed by a brilliant presence on social media. Having his A-list friends post photos of their pairs on Instagram gave global reach and kudos.”

Adidas & Kanye West Yeezy Boost 350
The Adidas Yeezy Boost 350.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Adidas.

Tom Kalenderian
EVP & GMM, Men’s & Chelsea Passage, Barneys New York
“Kanye West has had a profound influence on music, popular culture and fashion, with his finger on the pulse of his followers. It was a given that once the Adidas Originals by Kanye West Yeezy Season 1 collection was announced, Barneys New York would be the perfect partner to present this designer’s vision. It’s no surprise that his enthusiastic followers clamored to have the Boost footwear — shoes that capture the essence of Kanye West’s style and vision.”

Damien Paul
Head of menswear, MatchesFashion.com
“We’ve long been partnered with Adidas on its designer collaborations, including Rick Owens, Raf Simons and Kolor, but the reaction to the Yeezy was extraordinary even by their standards. We had a waiting list from the moment the collection was first shown in New York, and we are still fielding inquiries about the sneakers on a daily basis. Kanye has been incredibly canny about the collection — he’s tapped into the minimal, tech-infused aesthetic that we’ve seen on the rise over the last few seasons, but he has given it a grittier, younger appeal.”

Ankur Amin
Co-owner, Renarts
“Why did Yeezy boost sell out? One word: Hype. The Yeezy Boost was destined to be highly sought-after no matter what people truly thought of the aesthetic. Kanye has proven to have a magic touch with sneakers in the past when it comes to high resale value, and that alone was enough to guarantee that this model will resell at a high premium. The hype was off the charts weeks before the release. This made it easier for even the most casual fan or the people on the fence to jump in with both feet on launch day.”

Yeezy Boost 350 Black
The black Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

Matthew Fine
President, Shiekh Shoes
“The success of the Yeezy can be boiled down to two key factors:. First and foremost, it’s a testament to the star power of Kanye West and his ability to translate avant-garde fashion into streetwear sensibility ripe for mass consumption. Couple that with a meaningful brand collaborator and a great commercialization plan, and you have all the key ingredients for the tremendous success we have seen in the marketplace.”

Eric Peng Cheng
Owner, Bait Inc.
“The Yeezy Boost line was launched with unprecedented anticipation and hype. The combination of elevated fashion aesthetic and superior comfort technology, coupled with the most influential endorsement, makes it the shoe of the year.”

Jason Faustino
Co-owner, Extra Butter
“It’s no surprise to see the Yeezy Boost win ‘Shoe of the Year.’ There’s a big emphasis on wearable shoes, and both [the gray and black colors] of the 350 have been extremely wearable. Adidas Boost technology is also the best on the market, so combining that with the hype of the Yeezy Boost 350 was an instant win.”

Click through the slideshow below to see all the celebs we’ve spotted wearing the Adidas Yeezy Boost sneakers.

View Slideshow

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