After debuting way back in February, accompanied by some empty threats thrown Nike’s way, Kanye West’s first collection in collaboration with Adidas went up for sale last week. Fans have been simultaneously salivating over the goods and bemoaning the high prices ever since they were revealed, especially since West himself has talked about how he wants his line to be accessible to everyone.
But the price tags apparently didn’t deter people from buying, because after just a few days, the collection is an undeniable sales hit. Many pieces have sold out across the retailers carrying them, and one of the biggest sellers may make you pause: It’s a pair of $585 duck boots, called the Yeezy Boost 950.
The utilitarian boot doesn’t much resemble the original hunter’s footwear created by LL Bean, which continues to be insanely popular, except for the rubberized bottom portion. Instead, it looks a bit more like a hybrid between a moon boot and a heavy-duty snow boot. For a shoe that’s mostly ballistic mesh and rubber, it’s undoubtedly a high price, yet shoppers have been clamoring for it.
The Peyote, Chocolate, and Moonrock Adidas Yeezy 950. pic.twitter.com/Dk1qjiKs4B
— Adidas Alerts (@adidasalerts) October 26, 2015
The black version—there are four color options available—is currently sold out at high-end e-shop Mr. Porter. Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of menswear at Barneys New York, told WWD (paywall) that the black 950 boot was the first item the store sold out of, as many shoppers lined up outside in the rain. It sold out online at Barneys as well, and a restock of the boots is selling out at UK retailer End Clothing. WWD also reported that the boot was a top seller or the first piece sold out at boutiques in Atlanta, Miami, and Arlington, Texas.
Other popular items include a bouclé sweater ($1,690), a destroyed sweater ($2,600), and a camouflage t-shirt ($235).
Those buying the 950 boots are both men and women, as evidenced by some of the tweets of desperation from those who haven’t been able to get a pair—and this selfie in the boots from Kylie Jenner.
— C (@imchristine) November 2, 2015
Really trying to get these Yeezy 950
— Tafari. $ (@LKFari) November 2, 2015
West, of course, has never had difficulty selling products with his name on them, whether it’s music or clothing. The sneakers he created with Nike years ago remain highly sought after on eBay, and for as much as West’s line has been criticized by his fans, those same fans have always turned out to buy the products, to the point that it’s become a running joke. (Incidentally, the 950 boot is already turning up on eBay already at inflated prices.)
The pieces themselves aren’t very original, as West himself has acknowledged and are arguably of questionable quality, but there’s undeniable appeal to a line backed by one of the most popular and influential pop-culture figures of the moment. In a scathing review of his most recent collection, fashion critic Cathy Horyn labeled those who take West seriously as a designer “fools,” saying, “they wouldn’t bother with this stuff if it were offered by an unknown.”
West does want to be taken seriously as a designer, but until that happens, he has massive sales to cushion the critical blows.