On 2 December Kanye West was awarded the coveted FN Achievement Award ‘Shoe of the Year’ award which recognises the best and most talented designers in the shoe game. He won the Footwear News accolade for his collaboration with Adidas. Like many others, I have not been impressed by Kanye West’s design efforts. However some pieces from Yeezy Season 1 & 2 such as the ankle boots, sandals and the coats I like.
I am no expert when it comes to trainers, do I even own a pair? Yes one…but that’s only for the occasional visits to the gym and my every now and then spur of the moment power walks. I prefer to wear pretty flats than trainers when dressing casually. A good friend of mine convinced me to go trainer shopping with her, she was convinced being a ‘sneaker head’ she could find something that I would like…I did not find anything. I like trainers but I just do not like it on me *shrugs shoulders*. What do I recognise with Kanye West’s Yeezus boost is that it has been the most talked about, most sought after and most recognised shoes of the year. In comparison, the Yeezus boost is probably the most sought after trainers next to the Jordan brand. It continues to climb in popularity and having being sold out just in 12 minutes (sold for $200) its impact on pop culture is undeniable. The Yeezus boost 350 was being sold on eBay for more than $10,000 dollars-everyone wanted them. Though he has not received favourable reviews and his collections have been criticised, the numbers says it all-he has an eye for footwear. Kanye West follows in the footsteps of celebrated shoe designers like Christian Louboutin, Stuart Weitzman (my favourite shoe designer alongside Salvatore Ferragamo), Manolo Blahnik and Pierre Hardy who have all been recognised by FN Achievement Awards for their work.
In October, when Footwear News announced it will awarding Kanye with shoe designer of the year, they said:
This year’s Shoe of the Year honour recognizes the insatiable demand for all things Yeezy. The sneaker releases dominated the market in 2015 as demand for the product crashed servers, sparked extraordinary resale value and created a need for mob control in stores. From the moment Kanye West unveiled the 750 high-tops on the Grammys, his Adidas Sneakers have been the most-coveted, most-talked about, most recognized shoes this year.
Is Kanye the King of Shoes because of his knack for design or is it his star power? After all past FNAA winners are known for their designs- Louboutin for the red sole, Stuart Weitzman’s use of unique materials and attention to detail whilst Manolo Blahnik is known for the sleek stiletto heel. Rather the emphasis has been on his ability to draw people in using his celebrity influence. Kanye has influenced fashion, there is no denying that. He has an incredible following and has set trends. Maybe now it is not just about the design of the shoe that wins accolades but your power of influence, which Kanye has.
Stay Blessed x