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Could Nike really release the Air Yeezy again?

In his last interview on GQ, Kanye gave his blessing

Could Nike really release the Air Yeezy again? In his last interview on GQ, Kanye gave his blessing

Few sneaker collaborations have been as iconic and stormy as the one between Kanye West and Nike. Before the rapper jumped the ditch and began his collaboration with adidas, which produced the Yeezy we know now, the two editions of Air Yeezy and Air Yeezy II released between 2009 and 2014 marked the first collaboration between the Beaverton brand and a rapper – in fact inaugurating a trend that continues to the present day and giving light to some of the most sought after and expensive sneakers on the resell market. Until a few days ago, there was a belief that, based on his past, Kanye and Nike did not run good blood, but the rapper showed some kind of indifference toward the brand in his last interview with GQ:

Can Nike retro the original Air Yeezy 1 and Air Yeezy 2 sneakers? And if they made a move toward rereleasing them, what would you do?

Man, I’m with everything.

What do you mean? You could be okay with that?

Man, anything that the kids want and the people want. People should be able to have what they want.

Although Kanye gave his unofficial blessing to a re-release of the iconic Air Yeezy with this interview, one has to wonder if bringing them back into production would be a sensible move for Nike. It's true that the hatchet has been buried for years, but the liaison between Kanye and Nike has been a very complicated chapter for the brand. Just think of the song Facts of 2016 in which Kanye's views on Nike were not at all as moderate and serene as the one shown in the recent interview with GQ:

“Nike, Nike treat employees just like slaves/ Gave LeBron a billi' not to run away”

Now those sneakers are among the most expensive that exist – real unicorns, precisely because of their rarity. If Nike ever decides to implement a re-release of sneakers that are now worth thousands of euros, their status would create a short circuit of meaning with the current Yeezy brand, which not only today has a more commercial and democratic spirit but also bases its entire charm on the figure of Kanye, whose aura is the main driving force behind it.

Perhaps a re-release would also mean for Nike to dilute the myth of the Air Yeezy:  a possible re-release too widespread would risk diminishing the value of the original models or, even worse, to incur criticism both if the sneakers were recreated identically, becoming a kind of "reprint" of little value of a much more valuable original, and if they were modified , ruining the aura of myth. Not to mention the testimonials, who would find themselves crushed by the shadow of the original designer. A marketing and PR nightmare from which Nike will surely keep away, especially since the profit margins would be negligible considered as the Swoosh already cultivates hugely successful collaborations, much more in step with the times in terms of design and cultural zeitgeist, such as the one with Travis Scott or the capsule "Air Dior", which even before being released is already something legendary. It would also be difficult, with a start-up and successful brand like Yeezy, to make a re-issue of Kanye's sneakers look like something other than economic speculation. But whatever strategy Nike decides to implement, at least now they have Kanye's permission.