Kanye West, who wants to be known as Ye, is causing controversy with his new $200 socks, his first retail product after his dissolved partnership with Adidas.
The YZY Pods are up for preorder at sply.yeezy.com. However, users took to social media to express their disappointment with the socks selling at $200.
Called YZY Pods on the Yeezy.com site, it looks just like a sock and is meant to be worn as a shoe. The socks have a black satin boot appearance, presenting a hybrid between socks and boots. There are only three sizes available for the socks, resembling shoe sizes: 1, 2, and 3, and foldable. These sizes deviate from traditional sizing conventions and lack an explanation of how they are supposed to fit.
Popular sneakers website Hypebeast posted a picture of the YZY Pods on its Instagram, which had avid fans comparing the socks to something a ninja or Robin Hood would wear.
According to a former Yeezy lawyer, Kenneth Anand, as egregious as it may seem, there is an explanation behind the $200 price tag.
“People who are criticizing the price of the Yeezy sock shoes may not understand the high cost of making quality products, especially for independent brands,” Anand told The New York Post. “By comparison, luxury brands Vetements and Balenciaga are both selling extremely similar, if not identical, sock shoes; the Yeezy models are cheaper by about $400 or more, so arguably Kanye could have raised his price.”
Life after Adidas
In the fall of 2022, West’s anti-Semitism gained widespread attention, leading Adidas to sever ties with the rapper, despite his previous contributions to the company.
The split between Yeezy and Adidas resulted in a $540 million loss for Adidas since October 2022. West’s net worth, as estimated by Forbes, dropped from $1.3 billion to $400 million. He faced financial challenges, including a frozen bank account and legal issues with his private elite school, Donda Academy, leading to a temporary shutdown and a lawsuit from teachers.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the athletic company said at the time. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”
In May, the German sportswear giant revealed plans to sell parts of the Yeezy collaboration inventory, valued at $1.3 billion, Business Insider reported. By August, Adidas reported making nearly $437 million from the initial Yeezy sneaker sales, with more expected in a 2024 release. Following Adidas’ decision to end its partnership due to Ye’s comments, several companies, including Balenciaga, Gap, and Footlocker, also stopped carrying Yeezy products in their stores.