Crowds, stores gear up for Air Yeezy 2

Kanye West's NIKE shoe drops June 9

(Photos courtesy Nike )
June 06, 2012|By Taylor Ervin | for RedEye

Sneakerheads rejoice. The highly anticipated Air Yeezy 2, a Nike sneaker designed by Kanye West, officially drops Saturday, but only a small handful of the shoes will be released for public consumption at select stores, including two in Chicago.

Chicago streetwear boutiques RSVP Gallery, 1753 N. Damen Ave., in Wicker Park and Succezz, 1329 S. Michigan Ave. in the South Loop will have a limited number of the Kanye-designed high tops available on Saturday via silent auction. A third store, Saint Alfred, 1531 N. Milwaukee Ave., also in Wicker Park, may be getting its hands on the shoes soon.

Footwear enthusiasts and Kanye fans began camping out along Damen Avenue in front of RSVP Gallery on Sunday for a chance to be first in line for the new shoes, but they were all sent home on Tuesday after the store announced that they would be doing a silent auction.

"We are excited to be part of the release," Neely said. "[RSVP Gallery] basically got the shoes because our store owner has [a unique relationship with] Nike."

Store representative Austin Neely said RSVP Gallery wanted to avoid the chaos of a huge crowd and that the business was not interested in handling overwhelming lines.

Managers at Succezz came to a similar conclusion. Bidding at both stores will begin at the retail price of $245 but the final bid is expected to soar much higher than that. A portion of the proceeds from RSVP's auction will go to Children's Memorial Hospital.

The Air Yeezy 2 is a follow up to the original Air Yeezy model, which was released in the spring of 2009. Neely says the updated version is a very well designed shoe, but the most interesting part is the glow in the dark soles.

RSVP Gallery will also be raffling off a pair of the new Kanye kicks. Anyone who purchases more than $200 worth of merchandise this week will be entered for a chance to win.

Taylor Ervin is a RedEye special contributor.

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