When Nike released the Air Yeezy in April 2009, Kanye West became the first non-athlete to get a signature shoe from the Swoosh. The shoe was a massive success. Now it's time to meet the much-anticipated sequel.
The design process started during the recording of Kanye's Grammy-winning album My Beatiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The Nike Air Yeezy II features several upgrades and design changes. Some of the essential components remain the same — the vintage Tinker Hatfield-designed midsole and outsole, Velcro strap, and glow-in-the-dark sole are still there — otherwise this is a whole new beast.
The high-top silhouette has been trimmed down to a mid-cut sneaker. It still looks like an athletic shoe hybrid, but with several unexpected design elements. Hand-etched leather made to look like anaconda skin and a molded, spine-like ridge down the back give the shoe an animalistic quality. Inspired by ancient Egypt, the hieroglyphics concealed beneath the Velcro and the bust of the deity Horus on the tongue add to the mystical quality of the shoe which Nike says is "viewed via a time traveling futuristic vision." The result riffs on classic Nike innovations, while taking sneaker design a step in a new direction.
Look for the Air Yeezy II, shown in Platinum, to drop in June for $245.