Kanye West had a simple, two-word announcement for Twitter followers on Friday regarding his Adidas Yeezy sneaker brand: “adding basketball.”
West’s announcement that the first Yeezy basketball shoe will launch in 2019 was accompanied by a loose silhouette sketch of several upcoming Yeezy shoe designs.
The Yeezy line has until this announcement, primarily focused on making lifestyle sneakers. The entry into the basketball market will mark a shift for the brand as it begins to create performance models that have also been fully wear-tested and developed with technology in mind, according to brand sources.
Last year, West wore an early sample of the first Yeezy basketball shoe during an impromptu pickup match at UCLA, featuring a taller knit collar height and a full-length Boost midsole design similar to his popular Yeezy 350 casual shoe.
In April, West had also tweeted out an early look at another basketball concept design, which was highlighted by a more sunstantial black heel panel and a wavy, layered upper through the toe.
While West has been working on basketball designs for nearly two years, he only recently signed off on the basketball shoe that will be launching in 2019. The price point is expected to be more than $225, according to industry sources.
For now, Adidas has plans to launch a variety of new Yeezy silhouettes in 2019 and is tied in a long-term deal with West that goes far beyond the standard celebrity endorsement deal.