One of the most telling insights into a person can be found by looking at their very earliest Facebook photos. It sheds light onto the essence of their tastes, and how the arch of their personality has evolved over time. Kanye West might not have a personal Facebook profile, but this shelved 2006 collab with adidas is his own personal version of old Facebook albums.
Way before he fixated on transforming himself into the Marina Abramovich of hip-hop, Yeezy was set to collaborate on a pair of Rod Laver tennis shoes. Constructed from a creamy brown suede upper, the prototype features the face of his old mascot, Dropout Bear, emblazoned on a dark brown leather heel tab.
This shelved collab came to light in an interview that adidas’ Gary Aspden gave toCREPE CITY for its second issue. According to Gary, the Rod Laver was chosen because it “was his favorite shoe at that time,” but was vague about why it never came to fruition. He did, however, illustrate how committed Kanye was to the creation process:
“He pays attention to every detail of the product, even down to the string used for the swing tags. I have huge respect for the fact that he personally made trips to the factories with Nic Galway and was hands on with the entire process. Given how busy Kanye’s schedule must be, it’s hats off to him for taking the time to pay that level of attention and showing that level of commitment to getting things exactly the way he wants them to be. No half measures.”