Mar 11, 2023 - Economy

Yeezys were pulled from shelves, but interest remains high

A pair of Yeezys at Men's New York Fashion Week in 2018. Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

Adidas doesn’t know what to do with its collection of unsold Yeezys, the shoes designed by Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West. But the company's CEO suggested this week a lot of ideas are on the table.

The big picture: Yeezy shoes are still in high demand and are selling well above retail value on the resale market months after Adidas took the shoes off the shelf after ending its nine-year partnership with Ye over his antisemitic comments.

Driving the news: Adidas CEO Bjørn Gulden said during an earnings call last week that the company has received more than 500 requests to buy the stock of unsold shoes, but selling it “would not necessarily be the right thing to do.”

  • “I think the goal that we have is to do what damages us the least, and that we do something good,” Gulden said during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday, CNN reports.
  • “We could sell it with a small margin and give the margin away for different donations,” he said.
  • Destroying or burning the shoes would raise sustainability concerns, too, he said.

Yes, but: Gulden suggested the shoe may “come back again” due to their premium status and the continued high demand for the brand, according to CNN.

  • The shoes have never been cheap. The most affordable Yeezy models retailed in the $200 range, while the most expensive model clocked in at $625. The most commonly sold version of the shoe (the Yeezy Boost 350) sells for about $230, depending on the style.

What we're seeing: Prices have surged on the resale market for some models of the shoes. StockX and Impossible Kicks both told CNN that demand on their platform for Yeezys has been on the rise in October.

Of note: The Nike versions of the shoe, which had a limited release, have huge resale value. The Nike Air YZY 2 Red October, for example, recently sold for $15,359. It originally retailed at $250.

Go deeper