Recently, BBC’s Annie Mac picked up the phone with Kanye West on the other line. Always passionate, West and Mac discussed records such as “Fade” and “Famous,” with West also expressing desire to work on furniture with IKEA. For sneakerheads though, he also talked about making a very affordable pair of kicks and making them cool. Here’s what he had to say:
“I called Payless [around the time of the Ellen interview] — I don’t know if you guys have Payless shoe stores out there. So, Payless is a place where the highest priced shoe is like $30. If you don’t have money for Air Jordans or you don’t have money for Yeezys now and you’ve got a couple kids you go to Payless and they make a version of a shoe and this and that. I reached out to the CEO this time last year and had to explain to him my mission in life of the fact that I wanted to have all the information about designing and the high-end and bring it to the people. I think there’s such a connotation or perception about me that it was hard for him to see past that in our original conversation. I explained to him about my dad being an activist, my mom being an english professor, how I grew up in Operation Push, and my grandfather driving in the sit-ins in the 60s.”
“So now, I’m going to adidas and I’m like, ‘adidas, I know you’ve never made a shoe under $50 but we have to make a shoe that costs $30 USD and I’m gonna wear it and it’s going to be the coolest shoe of all!’ This thing that I’m saying, is the thing I’m most excited about of anything I’ve ever done — to be able to take all of what I’ve learned from the best designers and making collections with fashion people ripping me up alive and dissing me and saying ‘don’t quit your day job’ and all that, to be able to get to the point of being able to make something that everyone can touch and have that visibility. You only have 100 years on the planet if you’re lucky. What are you doing that’s pushing and touching people and inspiring people and letting them have a piece of this good life that’s hidden behind a certain financial bracket or sitting on this other side of Instagram? No, I want people to have it.”
For reference, Kanye’s current footwear product with adidas sees the lowest priced silo retailing at $200 and Yeezy Season currently offering a boot at $645. With that said, if you look back to Kanye’s interview with Jimmy Kimmel from 2013, he’s long talked about the desire to offer product at a lower price point in an effort to dismiss classism.
Would a brand produce a sneaker that lowly priced with Kanye and even more so, would people still think it’s cool? The answer may be yes. Adidas has seen big gains with Ye on board and even signed an extension that behooves him to wear a variety of adi product which could certainly range in price. In addition, we’ve seen models like the Nike Roshe Run, Converse Chuck Taylor and classics from Vans come in at relatively reasonable price-points and move in masses while remaining cool.
So, would you like to see a $30 Kanye shoe? Let us know in the comments section and listen to the interview at Nah Right.
Lead image by FameFlynet Pictures via Zimbio