Adidas creative director: Kanye opened 'doors of perception' for us
The day has been dubbed "Kanye West Day" by New York Times critic Matthew Schneier and we think it's fair to say the rapper-designer has changed the game for Adidas.
"The product that we've done together has pulled us into a new place," Adidas creative director Paul Gaudio tells Tech Insider of the sneakers and apparel they've designed. One of those places: the center of the fashion world.
The collaboration seems to be working: fashion blog High Snobiety declared Adidas the most relevant streetwear brand of 2015, saying "that Adidas is in perhaps its strongest position since the '80s when it comes to its public image, only this time it appears to be succeeding not as a direct competitor to the hegemony of Nike, but as the discerning alternative."
The Yeezy Boost sneakers have made a huge splash - to the point that the Boost 350 passed $20,000 on eBay last summer.
"The footwear is so unique and so interesting, born of sneakers and sneaker culture and athletic footwear, but clearly something different than what was out on the market before," Gaudio says.
"I think it made a lot of people, inside and outside the company, uncomfortable when they first saw it," he says. "When it started to come to life, it certianly made me uncomfortable, but that's a good thing. We need to be uncomfortable, we need to challenge ourselves, and [Kanye] helps us do that."A collaboration between Nike and Kanye produced some of the most valuable sneakers ever made. In 2013, he left Nike for Adidas.
Since then, West has helped sneakerheads across the world connect with Adidas in a differnet way. Gaudio says that the West collabs have helped seed an interest for some of Adidas's most brand-defining new shoes, like the acclaimed Ultra Boost, the Pure Boost X, and the NMD.
"There's an increasing acceptance and appetite for those ideas, that you have the expecation that we continue to deliver that newness," Gaudio says. "It's opened those doors of perception, doors of thought. It's hard to introduce newness unless you have the appetite for it."