In 2013, during an interview radio station Hot 97, Kanye West let the world know that he'd signed with adidas. The announcement, which came after a period of West publicly bashing his old sneaker sponsor Nike, shook the shoe world, and the product the partnership eventually produced helped adidas ascend to a new level of cool.
But, the first Kanye West adidas sneaker actually happened back in 2005. That sneaker, never known to the public until this year, is seen in full detail for the first time here.
West was in talks about signing with adidas for a collaborative line in 2005. At the time, he was a relatively new name, having just released his debut album, The College Dropout, in 2004. He hadn’t yet really established himself in the fashion world, but that didn’t mean West lacked ambition.
During studio sessions for the recording of his second album, Late Registration, West requested a meeting with higher-ups at adidas to discuss the possibility of working together. They agreed, flying from adidas’ headquarters in Germany out to Los Angeles. But, West’s vision at the time was too big for what the brand was willing to sign on for—he wanted stores, his own line, and his own design team. West’s deal with adidas inked in 2013 would allow him of all of these things.
Part of West’s pitch to the brand was to have them help get his clothing line, Pastelle, off the ground. Ironically, Pastelle appears to be finally happening in 2016, although there’s no evidence of adidas’ involvement.