“Eventually, everybody who wants to get Yeezys will get Yeezys,” Kanye West famously said in a 2015 interview. Three years later, he made good on his promise, dropping the Yeezy Boost 350 V2 “Triple White” on Sept. 21.
According to some reports, the production run on the comparatively mass-release sneakers reached north of one million pairs — a drop in the bucket for Adidas, but astronomical compared to the 9,000-pair limited run of West’s first style, the Yeezy Boost 750 in Light Brown. The brand touted the release as its “most democratic ever,” and according to new sales data, the strategy is working — at least for now.
Matt Powell, senior sports industry advisor with The NPD Group Inc., said in a note that Yeezy saw “unexpected gains, with sales up” more than six times in the fourth quarter of 2018. “Whether Yeezy can withstand the pressure of the expanded allocation remains to be seen,” he added as a caveat. On Twitter, Powell often cautions about the dangers of dilution in today’s market, where scarcity drives demand.
When the Triple White was first released, he explained to FN that much of Yeezy’s popularity relies on the resale market, where, according to StockX, price premiums on the brand currently reach as high as 400 percent. “The fervor around the West product is that it could be flipped for multiple times the initial price,” said Powell. “People weren’t looking at it as a shoe they had to have or wanted to wear. It was a shoe I could make a lot of money on.”
The brand’s first-ever drop sold out in 10 minutes and subsequent releases followed suit. But pairs of the newer, mass styles were still available after a week on the shelves, and they’re selling for barely above the retail price on the resale market.