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Kanye West Designed the Yeezy Wave Runners in 48 Hours

Design partner Steven Smith shares the background story.
Kanye West, Yeezy
James Francisco

Kanye West’s highly successful partnership with Adidas came to a screeching halt in October 2022 following the artist’s persistent antisemitic remarks. With that came tumbling a billion-dollar business forged by a range of industry-shifting designs that had become staples in the sneaker conversation. Among those designs was the Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 “Wave Runners,” Kanye’s foray into the ‘dad shoe’ subcategory. The model, particularly the lead colorway, is widely regarded as Kanye’s best Adidas Yeezy release, which makes a new revelation about the process that led to its creation all the more impressive.

During an interview with Kanyesposts last year, design legend Steven Smith discussed working on the “Wave Runners” with Kanye, revealing that the shoe came about after just 48 hours of back-and-forth sketching between them.

X/Twitter: @ComplexSneakers

“Through 48 hours over a weekend, out of it came the Wave Runner,” Smith explained. “The creation process with him is magic.”

Smith, known as the “Godfather of Dad Shoes,” admitted that he was caught off guard by Kanye’s vision for what became the Yeezy Boost 700.

“I didn’t know what he was asking me to do because the [Yeezy Boost] 350 had just launched, and that had set the new direction. One piece, knitted, simplistic, minimalist. And he’s asking me to do this thing with all these pieces and old-school overlays and busy midsole.”The Yeezy Boost 700 launched for $300 in November 2017. Several restocks would follow, as well as V2, V3, and MNVN variations. Adidas last made the shoe available in August 2023 as it attempted to sell off its remaining Yeezy stock to recoup some of the money lost from terminating the partnership. Those plans were paused last October and there’s belief that Adidas may never finish selling off its remaining Yeezys.

YouTube: Kanyesposts

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