By this point it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that any shoe Adidas and Kanye West decide to drop will inevitably sell out and command extremely high resell prices. Ever since the very first collaboration between Adidas and rapper – turned fashion designer Kanye West, Yeezy releases have been knockout drops without fail. The latest release in the Yeezy collection, the Powerphase, has, however, commanded resell prices that dwarf the majority of iterations that have come before it. One quick look at Ebay will show you an assortment of Powerphase models being listed at prices starting at around £600, and rising to up to £1000. With Adidas pricing the Powerphase at around £90 on first release, this really does show an astonishing mark up, and begs the question why?
One possible explanation could be that the Powerphase is a break from the norm. Yeezy releases have generally been made up of different colourways of the 350, 750 and 950 models, with the odd Crepe or Military Boot occasionally thrown in (though these releases are not in collaboration with Adidas). The Powerphase doesn’t adhere to this pattern. Aesthetically it differs entirely from the usual Yeezy designs, and at a retail price of only £90 it is far cheaper than the £150 350 model that is its closest alternative. So is it uniqueness that gives the Powerphase such expensive resell value, or is it something else?
Well, the actual design of the Powerphase is not all that amazing. There is no boost technology to bump up the price tag, nor is the actual silhouette of the shoe all that interesting. Alternatives to the Powerphase can be found from all sorts of outlets. Earlier this year Youtuber Brad Hall posted a video comparing the Powerphase to the Reebok Workout Plus Vintage, a £75 alternative that looks incredibly similar to the Powerphase design. So if it isn’t the design of the Powerphase that makes it superior to its predecessors, what is?
Ultimately it is unclear what exactly has made the Powerphase Adidas and Yeezy’s priciest reselling shoe since the very first 750 release. There is little innovation in technological design, nor is there much of a unique aesthetic quality. The shoe of course sports the Yeezy name, but that still doesn’t explain why the Powerphase resell price dwarfs other Yeezy releases that have come before it. There is, it seems, no explanation. Perhaps the only way to find out is to ask Mr West himself, does anybody have a number I could call?