Tastemakers Weigh-In On Nike’s Sudden ‘Air Yeezy 2 Red October’ Release

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Mikey Fresh / February 10, 2014

Nike shocked the sneaker community when they dropped the Air Yeezy 2 Red October this past Sunday (Feb. 9). Without warning, the sneaker giant released a purchase link on their official Twitter account and the rest is history. Every single pair sold out in about 10 minutes. Was this a F-you to Kanye West, or just good timing? VIBE wrangled up a group of tastemakers to get the real deal.

I was cool with it… No, I do not have a pair! Hahaha… If you got a pair and your gonna wear them god bless you and I’m very happy for you… I’m your biggest fan! If your gonna sell them…. I HOPE UPS/FEDEX STEALS YOUR PACKAGE!!!!! And remember….. sneakers are only worth what our stupid asses are willing to pay for them!

- Mayor, Sneaker Aficionado Brand/Consultant

I think what Nike pulled off with the ‘Red Octobers’ was very dope. They eliminated campouts and people lining up outside stores, prevented store owners and managers from marking up the shoes and only selling to friends and they knocked out bots gaming the online release system. Add in the fact that they eliminated a site crash, too.

What they created was a true Quickstrike (or was it a hyperstrike?) release where nobody could get prepared. It was very old school in the sense that the shoes were there for the taking by anyone who happened upon them via @nikestore.

The only way they could’ve made it even better was to not even tweeting the link. Just throw the shoes on the “New Releases” page of their site and let word spread by friends telling friends. That would’ve been the same as when cats would stumble into their local shop on a random day, see a cold pair of shoes on the wall then start calling their friends like “Aye! You better get here fast while they have your size.”

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing similar releases in the future.

-John Gotty, Smoking Section

Part of me is like yes!!! And part of me is saying “you bastards” to the fact there wasn’t any notice. On the reseller market their 10k. Damn I missed out on the “sucka style” release. I mean no disrespect lol. But did I die thou ha!

- DJ JUANYTO, HOT97

The unexpected nature of the “Red October” Yeezy 2 release on Sunday afternoon wasn’t bad. Everyone wanted them so a lucky few were pretty happy. This is better than disappointment after weeks of anticipation like the Diamond Supply Co. X Nike SB Dunk High which released at 8am on Saturday. Nike has had years of online release experience and even then there was a server crash when the Diamond Dunk released. That lead to wide spread anger. Many were also angered by the Yeezy 2 release but mostly because they were unaware. There’s less disappointment. In my opinion, an online lottery system would lead to happier shoppers. Maybe it’s because I’ve been through this for so many years but I would never wake up at 8am matter how much I want a pair of shoes. If a lottery system exists, I would try.

-Yu Ming Wu, freshnessmag.com and sneakernews.com

Well, it’s really the perfect formula. You got top names Nike and Yeezy who have crazy reach for marketing and hype. The product itself, its not a bad design but it’s nothing to go crazy over. They had a lot of hype buildup in press for the past few months with a lot of sneaker heads on edge. But with the sudden/limited release, people got tiled up with no specific date to watch out for. It really is a way to change the game in terms of product release and “Hypebeast” culture. There were no lines, no discussion for release. I think it leaves everyone in AWE, and that “feeling” is what really brands the product.

-Sophia Chang, Illustrator, Designer

Great silhouette, undeniably etched in history before it was unveiled. Designed by one of our modern masters of marketing. Due to his self awareness, the Yeezy II jumped over the Jumpman with the sole of the Nike tech challenge. A shoe that bad boy of tennis Andre Agassi sported in the 90’s. It was only fitting that bad boy Yezus started with the sole. No slouch to marketing themselves, Nike dropped the Yeezy’s on Sunday the “day of the Lord and in the mist of NYFW. Haha…I love it. Tight I missed the drop. What did you except with a sneaker named after a cult 90’s film about a “submarine’…A WARNING.

In classic Kanye fashion…he stole the a bit shine from Nick Diamonds legendary SB Tiffany SB drop. Entertained

-F.luxury.B

Nike’s Red October version of the Air Yeezy 2 were marred in controversy and anticipation has been high since last year. Nike’s exact plans to release the shoe were unclear, even to Kanye himself and when ‘Ye signed on with Adidas the future of these kicks became even more unsure.

To suddenly release the Red Octobers on the eve of The College Dropout’s 10-year anniversary was a great move on Nike’s part. The unexpected release, couple with the $245 price tag, raises the level of exclusivity, but I wonder if demand for the shoe has subsided some.

Because Kanye is no longer with Nike and now signed on with Adidas, I doubt we will be seeing him wearing or promoting the Red Octobers. Sure the shoe is dope, but the real reason we all want it is because it is a West-backed product. Tyga could’ve dropped the same exact shoe and the hype wouldn’t be the same, it’s all about brand strength.

All that being said Nike made the absolute best move they could, but I’m interested in ‘Ye’s next move with Adidas; you’ll know he’ll be looking to top his work with Nike.

- Rob Markman, MTV News Senior Hip-Hop Writer

Nike as a brand will always be a marketing powerhouse. With talks of Kanye being excited for his Adidas release and the 10th anniversary of College Dropout, Nike used this time to release a Quickstrike of his Yeezys 2. Not mad at it, smart and strategic.

Karen Civil, Beats Music

The Nike Air Yeezy 2 is like the blueprint to getting hypebeasts foaming at the mouth. Honestly there are a gang of shoes that look better than they Air Yeezy 2, in any colorway. But thanks to the high demand, the teasing of release dates, the almost impossibility of getting a pair at retail and, of course, it’s affiliation with Kanye West (even if he took his services to adidas), the markup for resellers gets exorbitant. Nike isn’t making that much money off the shoe itself since it’s such a limited run. But the amount of hype, chatter and borderline mythology surrounding the shoe is invaluable when it comes to getting the word ‘Nike’ in people’s mouths. And that’s ultimately the point.

-Alvin Blanco, Hip-Hop Wired

The powers of demand and influence are undeniable. Ye’s Nike swan song, for all of the anticipation leading up to it, was as heartbreaking as it was awe-inspiring. No RSVP, no (more) release dates, no social media build up, just a ton of latent demand and a company savvy enough to not only awaken it but bring it to a fever pitch in a matter of moments. Upset I wasn’t able to work any magic to get my hands on a pair, but not mad at all at the magic that was this drop. Well done, Swoosh.

-Jamal Jimoh, Ncredible Entertainment

I wasn’t shocked that Nike did that, know one wants to leave good product on the shelf. Especially with something with so much hype !! I’m just curious is that a good thing for the person who wants to rock them instead of stock them.

-Rugz D. Bewler, Rapper

The Yeezy 2 in general is a sick pair of kicks and unless you own them (Delz own’s Them) you cant even really understand the quality of them, I will say the 1st two colorways have nicer Quality Materials on it for example the 1st two Yeezy 2 upper’s have a leather in a python pattern VS The Red October has this synthetic diamond pattern with just a little suede around the toe . I dont mind the way they released these Yeezy 2 Red Octobers because if they announced a release date and time in advance ,it just would have given these resellers and computer guys with these bots (program that grabs and puts item into cart instantly) more of a chance to get them VS the regular consumer looking to buy to wear. I was not on twitter when that link dropped so I didnt get my pair ,if anyone got a size 9 for me, hook it up! HAHA! I was lucky to get both of the other colorways that released years ago off Nikestore on the release date for box price so i’m not trippin tho. Congrats to the people who scooped them up & plan on wearing them….WEAR YOUR KICKS!

-DJ Delz, The Sneaker Addict