While every other word coming out of a sneakerhead's mouth may be Yeezy, what you'll more often than not find on their feet is a pair of one of Pharrell's colorful adidas Superstars. After naming 2015 the "year of the Superstar," the producer-turned-designer quickly went to work reviving the 1970's silo into one of the most ubiquitous releases, offered in more than 50 colorways from curry yellow to metallic gold. The result was adidas announcing last week that they sold 15 million pairs last year or almost $1 for every $10 the brand took in.
"All told, revenue from the Adidas “Originals” line, which includes such vintage stalwarts as Superstar and Stan Smith, surged by 46 percent in the most recent quarter. No other part of the business came close to matching that growth."
--Kyle Stock, Bloomberg
While there's no doubting the buzz and attention that Kanye West brings to the Three Stripes, the very fact that only a select few get a chance to own them doesn't do much for adidas' bottom line once marketing costs are factored in. On the other hand, it's hard to put an exact figure on the boost that Ye has given to adidas' street cred and their social media presence.
At the end of the day, adidas is playing both the short and the long game here and so far it looks like both are paying off.