Kanye himself just confirmed it on air with Hot 97's Angie Martinez. Here are the quotables:
“I asked them when the Yeezy “Red Octobers” are coming out. I asked them, me Kanye West, asked Nike when’s it coming out. They said, ‘we’re not sure yet.’ They let me design two shoes over five years. And I’m happy I could design them, but they didn’t do me no favor because Eminem designed a shoe, Pharrell designed a shoe. I just designed the Yeezys. I turned up, because I was in fourth grade designing Jordans and I brought back that feeling. You ain’t never felt that way about a shoe, since the Jordans, the way people feel about the Yeezys. I put that feeling. The same feeling that I put in College Dropout, Graduation, 808s, I put that feeling in there.
“So then I start turning up in the BBC interview, so [Nike] said, ‘ok cool, we’re gonna give you a bigger sandbox to play in. We’re gonna give you this amount right here to design, and two collections a year, and 30 SKUs — that’s the amount of items that you have. Would that make you happy, Kanye?’ And I said, ‘well I need royalties.’ It’s not even like I have a joint venture. At least give me some royalties. Michael Jordan has 5%, that business is $2 billion. He makes a $100 million dollars a year off of 5% royalties. Nike told me, ‘we can’t give you royalties because you’re not a professional athlete.’ I told them, ‘I go to the Garden and go one on NO ONE. I’m a performance athlete.’
“So the old me, without a daughter, would have taken the Nike deal because I just love Nikes so much. But the new me, with a daughter, takes the adidas deal because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family."
- Kanye West
Now, a few notes:
1. I'm a little puzzled about the last quote and need to hear him say it, because on paper, we all know Kanye could provide for his family: royalties or no royalties. So is that really why he took the adidas deal? Purely business? Or is it to also work with the three-stripes and their definitive aesthetic (including Yohji Yamamoto as the Y-3 rumors are sizzling)? I'm assuming it's very much the latter too and so let's not take this quote all too seriously, yeah?
2. 'Ye mentions adidas but not Y-3. As I mentioned when the rumor broke last week, I feel like Y-3 would be such a smooth fit and between 'Ye and Yohji, I think they can come up with a fresh and memorable design. As a fan of 'Ye's designs and adidas Y-3, I'm pulling for this collab to be confirmed. We shall see soon enough to what extent Kanye is working with adidas.
3. How about "I go to the Garden and go one on NO ONE." — Ha! I love that comeback. 'Ye gets the W for that.
4. Of course, everyone is wondering about the Red Octobers and will they ever see release? I'm betting NO, but what do you guys think?
And oh yeah, there's a couple more provocative gems from Kanye in this interview:
"Whatever is official, non-official, official—what y'all gonna see is I'm gonna be the Tupac of product."
"I'm gonna be the first hip-hop designer and because of that I'm gonna be bigger than Wal-Mart."
- Kanye West
Stay tuned for an update to this post and more details on the new adidas collab.
UPDATE: Here's the video of the interview with Angie, where someone named Kim Kardashian was with Kanye (are they together or something?). Browse below for the clips.
UPDATE: Here's another interview update as Kanye says to 92.3 Now that he wants a boycott of Louis Vuitton.
“While I was in Paris I wanted to meet the head of Louis Vuitton and he said ‘I don’t understand why we need to meet with you?’ I said let me explain to you why you need to meet with me,” he said before sending out a message to his fans.
“Everybody in New York City right now, don’t buy any Louis Vuitton until after January… Now do you wanna meet with me? Influence… they think that I don’t realize my power.”
Special delivery!!! Kanye is rehearsing for his tour so I can't bug him right now...hmmmm what should I do with these? #Yeezys #RedOctobers
UPDATE: Kim Kardashian, somehow, received a pair before me.
10.13.13: October is nearing the halfway mark and still no official release info on the Air Yeezy II: Red Octobers!?! With this new image of the kicks surfacing today, even the most casual sneakerhead is likely filled with even higher anticipation. How can I get one 'Ye?!
The 'Red October' Air Yeezy 2s — perhaps the most anticipated shoe release for the rest of 2013. And Kanye's giving 'em away to lucky fans who purchase his new album, Yeezus.
The gist: Starting tomorrow, simply purchase Yeezus in-stores or on iTunes, OR send an email to email@example.com to receive an access code. It looks like you can just e-mail them for the access code. 'Ye has a limited amount: 50 pairs that he'll be giving away in 3 weekly drawings. For the full details: giveaway.kanyewest.com.