Day 13: Faith
“I’m trying to keep my faith…” — These lyrics continually cycled through my head today as I spent hours trying to secure a pair of Kanye West’s newest shoes. After spending countless hours in attempts to purchase his last four releases to no avail, I started to lose faith. I was ready to give up, and then my cousin texted me that adidas’ site went live. Severely sleep deprived, and having to work tonight, I was strongly considering going to sleep and not trying. Then I realized how much I would regret it if I had not tried. I would have definitely regretted it.
In April 2009, Kanye was just getting started with Nike, and had just released his first signature shoe, the Nike Air Yeezy. I remember seeing the shoes for the first time at the 2008 Grammys and I instantly fell in love. The silhouette that was inspired by different Jordan models was perfect to me, AND they glowed in the dark. It was such an innovative shoe, but at the time I did not have the means to afford them.
Later that year, I began college. My friend Rey and I would often go to local shoes spots to either kill time between classes or when we got out of class early. This one day we went to Saint Alfred, a boutique in Wicker Park. I will never forget that day because that is the day I bought my first pair of yeezys.
As we walked into the shop, immediately to the right and above a rack of clothing, there was a series of glass cases with shoes in them. In one of those glass cases was a pair of the Net/Net Yeezys. I distinctly remember telling Rey that if those were for sale, I would buy them in a heartbeat. Like I said, I had just begun college, so I had some extra money from my High School graduation. That money was supposed to be for books, but when you are that close to obtaining something you desperately want, you do not think of having to buy books.
Once greeted by the employees, I started to get nervous. I feared that the shoes were only for display and asking would only make me disappointed. Krabby, who is big in the shoe community was managing there at the time, and was the one helping us. I remember he was wearing a pair of Jordan 4s that was a collaborative design with the brand undefeated (Those shoes currently go for thousands of dollars). So he was asking us if we needed help with anything, and I froze and said no and that we were just looking around. Rey knew how much I wanted the shoes and asked me if I wanted him to ask for me. I kept saying it was okay, but he insisted, and I am glad he did. The shoes were on sale for $400 ($450 after tax). They retailed for $215. At the time I thought that was too much. The shoes were a size 1o too (fit like a 10.5) and I wear a 9.5/10. I had a tough decision to make, but I decided that it had to be fate so I bought the shoes.
Despite the shoes being too big, they instantly became my favorite pair. Before I wore them for the first time, I would sleep with them. The love was real. Unfortunately it did not last forever.
In May of 2013, my family decided to surprise my cousin in California for his 30th Birthday. I had made a lot of poor decisions with my money at that time and needed extra cash for the trip. At this point the value of my yeezys inflated to nearly $1500 for a new pair. I did not want to make a sale just for the profit though. I wanted to make sure whoever I sold it to would appreciate it and would not sell them. So I ended up selling to a friend for a small profit on top of what I paid and only asked that he never sell. The shoes were more to me than just shoes, and honestly if they were my size, I would have never thought of selling. At the end of the day though, family is more important to me than anything and that is why I decided to let them go.
Fast forward to 2015, and Kanye is now signed with Adidas. He had one other release with Nike, which I had zero chance of obtaining. It is crazy to think that a couple months after the first Nike Air Yeezys came out, I only had to pay $200+ over retail. For all of the Yeezy 2s (retail was $245), if you did not get them for retail, you would have to pay a minimum of $1000 over retail to a reseller for them. The hype was real.
So when Kanye announced his deal with adidas, I was upset because I am loyal to Nike. 98% of my shoes are Nike, and half of my clothing is Nike as well. I remember having a conversation with a friend about if we would purchase Kanye’s shoes, even though it was adidas. I really could not answer because I was not a fan of anything adidas had done to that point. Then adidas introduced the ultra boost. I still have yet to own a pair, but it was the first adidas shoe I was interested in so it gave me hope for Kanye’s shoes. Kanye’s first model, the yeezy boost 750 was innovative, but I was not a fan. Then he introduced the yeezy boost 350.
The yeezy boost 350 was a shoe I could see myself wearing. Like many it reminded me of the Nike Roshe, but also had hints of the adidas ultra boost within it. The 350s only retailed for $20 more than the ultra boost as well. Now it was finding an opportunity to buy them.
In June of 2015, I had gone to Vegas for a friend’s Bachelor party. Upon returning I had just gotten my tax return and the first colorway of the yeezy boost 350 was releasing. Adidas introduced an app that allowed people to reserve shoes if you were in a designated area. The turtle doves (first colorway of the 350s) were the first shoes they tested the app with outside of just New York. LA and Chicago were the added cities. The release was a mess. The app went live in New York first and took nearly three hours to resolve all the pairs. Next was Chicago, which is where I am from. I remember getting on the app right as it went live and being able to add my size, but I kept getting an error. I thought I had lost my chance, but upon resetting the app, I found a pair in my reservations. I was so excited that day. Everyone kept asking me if I was going to sell because of all the hype. I was even offered $1200, but I had finally had another pair of yeezys in my life so no one but me was going to wear them.
The next colroway was pirate black. The turtle doves were and still are my favorite colorway, but the pirates are a close second. I had helped my brother and some friends with the process of getting the shoes through adidas’ confirmed app. I even created a tutorial with pictures. I had no luck with that release, but a couple people I had helped did. The following two releases I also had no luck, despite entering tons of raffles, and forgoing sleep on the days they would release. No other release was more disheartening then the pirate black one though. That is because I had spent the most time and put in the most effort into being able to purchase. It was okay though because one of those pairs went to that same cousin that I went to California for before. This time he was getting married. If it was not for him and his influence, I would have never gotten in to shoes. Again, my family means more to me than anything.
Back to today. The pirate black colorway made its return. This whole week my brother and cousins have been helping me enter raffles and find direct links to sites to optimize my chances at buying the shoes that got away. From 3am-8am, I went through various sites to try and purchase the shoes, but could not even get to the shoe’s page. In addition, I was getting all these emails on failed raffle attempts. This is where I started to have a meltdown. I nearly broke my mac, and I became extremely frustrated. It was like deja vu. Like every release before this (except for the first one), I committed all this time and effort and could not even get to the page the shoes were on. I gave up trying, even with a couple more sites including adidas yet to release them.
Then around 10am, that same cousin from California texted that adidas’ direct link to the shoes were up. Like I stated earlier, I was strongly considering not even trying, but something told me I would regret it. After a couple of inventory errors, I FINALLY got through. Just as I did, adidas tweeted that the site was ready. I do not consider myself lucky at all when it comes to this kind of stuff, but the timing could not have been more perfect. I was on the shoe’s page for once, and was able to select my size and checkout without issues.
This whole experience has taught me how strong having faith in something is. Even when your faith is wavering, if you find a way to hold on to it, generally the things we deserve and want in life will become obtainable. I know that I may never own another pair of yeezys again, but that is okay because I am lucky to have gotten two pairs without having to overpay. This is just a small example of the power of faith. Having faith in something or someone will not always be easy, but you need to continue to try because your patience will someday be rewarded.