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Kanye West first came onto the hip-hop scene in the early 2000s. He quickly made a name for himself as being one of the most outspoken and creative artists in the industry.

His creativity didn’t stop at just making music, however. In 2009, the rapper decided that he wanted to broaden his horizon and become a fashion designer.

After interning with one of the most famous designers in the fashion world, the father of four now owns his own successful fashion line called Yeezy. Just like with everything that West has done in the past, he takes his apparel brand very seriously. In fact, West considers all of his fashion products to be artistic pieces of his creation.

When did Kanye West create his Yeezy brand?

Kanye West poses before Christian Dior 2015-2016 fall/winter ready-to-wear collection fashion show.
Kanye West | PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

In 2009, West partnered with Nike to create a unique sneaker that the famous rapper named Air Yeezy 1. The shoe retailed for around $215 a pair. Despite the high price, the shoe sold out almost instantly.

A few years later, West and Nike came out with Air Yeezy 2. There was a limited amount of Air Yeezy 2’s that were made, and this shoe had sold out almost as fast as the West’s first collaboration did.

West was very proud of his Yeezy sneakers, but he was not very happy about working with Nike. The infamous shoe brand had reportedly not paid West any royalties for wither one of the shoes, so West decided to leave Nike and in 2013, he made a deal with Adidas instead.

In 2015, the Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 dropped, and as expected, were an instant success. That same year, West released the Yeezy Boost 350 in a turtle dove color that flew off the shelves in minutes. Today, the Yeezy Boost 350s are available in a wide range of colors, including moon rock, oxford tan, and pirate black. 

West faced some criticism when he announced that his brand is a unicorn — meaning that it is worth over $1 billion — but many financial experts argue about how much his company is actually worth. But no matter how much the Yeezy brand is actually worth, there is no denying that it has become one of the most influential brands in the sneaker industry.

Kanye West considers himself to be ‘an artist’

Recently, West had an interview with GQ where he talked about how much he enjoys working on his Yeezy brand. He told the interviewer that he had received some criticism for his designs in the past, but he tries to focus on the criticism and instead, pours all of his attention into each one of his designs and he considered each one of his products to be his art pieces.

“At my office. We’re doing couture. And I get to talk about a color palette for one hour. A lot of people would have suggestions: ‘Go take a jog. Go get some fresh air.’ Colors are my fresh air. And every piece that I make, it’s not only something that I would wear—I would never make anything that you wouldn’t catch me in—they’re also art pieces. Everything I’ve ever done has been an art piece because I’m an artist,” West said.

What does the future hold for the Yeezy brand?

West had once said that he hopes that his shoes will one day be more popular than the iconic Air Jordans. And the way things are looking now, that is a very realistic goal. It seems like every shoe that West creates, becomes even more popular than his last creation.

This year, West and Adidas are expected to release several more unique sneakers. They have already released a few different shoes this year, including several different designs of their already popular Yeezy 350 V2 and the Yeezy 700 MNVN.  He is expected to release even more unique designs for his popular shoes later this year.