The word “yeezy” is a trademark and abbreviation for the Yeezy collection, which has long been a staple of hip-hop culture.
And while the word itself is derived from the slang word for “youth” (zebra), it is not a real word.
“The word Yeezer is an abbreviation of the Yeezys, which are the best-selling sneakers on the planet,” says Yeezur Rahman, owner of the popular online store Yeezus.com.
“It’s not real Yeezymus, which means “the young,” as the name implies.”
It is not even a trademarked word, Rahman explains.
“If we were to trademark it, that would be pretty bad,” he says.
So what does it mean to be a Yeezee?
And how did it come to be that way?
It was all about money, says Rahman.
The first Yeeza was released in 2002.
Since then, there have been nearly 200 variations of the shoe.
Some of them are made in China, others in Africa, and others in Japan.
“We have a lot of people who are just very happy with the quality of our shoes,” Rahman says.
“They buy them for the price of one pair of jeans.”
The shoe is also known as “Yeezy Boost,” Rahman adds.
But it is often sold for $250 to $300.
This is not the style of shoes that people are used to, he says, and it’s not really the style for people who come from the US or Europe.
“A lot of the people who have tried it are very different than the people from the States, the UK, or even France,” he adds.
What is a Yeezzy?
“A Yeezie is a brand name that identifies a pair of shoes,” says Zara Shah, who has written books about the YEEZY brand and has worked with fashion designers to market Yeezies to American and European consumers.
“This is a branding name that helps you identify your brand, that helps the brand stand out and differentiate it from other brands.
It also helps you communicate that this is a unique brand that you’ve got.
The more of these that you have, the more brands will recognize that and will start to market to them.”
Yeezos, Shah says, are not just for young people anymore.
They are the brand of choice for many more.
“Yeezys are going to be the trendsetting footwear brand for the next 50 years,” she says.
That’s because Yeezy is becoming the symbol of hip hop.
In recent years, the trend has gone mainstream, with hip-hoppers, pop stars, and even celebrities wearing Yeezamas, Shah explains.
And in the past decade, Yeezzas have been increasingly used in the fashion industry, particularly on runway shows, where designers like Alexander Wang and Yves Saint Laurent have used them.
“There’s so much interest in Yeezas, that fashion has become more and more about fashion,” Shah says.
This interest has led to the fashion business being flooded with Yeezazes.
“You can see it all around you in every fashion store.
You see people wearing them in all kinds of places, from the airport to the gym to the bar, to their office, to the office of their bosses,” Shah adds.
“People are really into Yeezia, because of the high quality of their materials and the high price.”
Rahman says the Yezus are a symbol of quality.
“As the product goes on and goes out, the Yzeezus are always going to have the most value because they are the only ones in the world that make these shoes,” he explains.
The Yeezez brand has a long history in the US, but it has been growing at an amazing pace in recent years.
“In the past 15 years, Yeezeys have become more popular than any other footwear brand in the United States, and now we’re on the cusp of another huge milestone,” Shah explains, citing the brand’s first global success, a US$30 million sale to a Japanese fashion house.
“For all these years, fashion has been obsessed with Yeezes, but in the last 15 years the fashion world has gone so far in terms of the marketing that Yeezees have become synonymous with fashion,” she adds.
In other words, the style is starting to take off.
The answer to this question may not come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the Yeesha’s brand, Shah suggests.
The shoe company was founded in 1968 by Shah’s father, Rafiq, who had previously worked for a shoe manufacturer.
RafiQ is now CEO of the company and, like his father, was a huge fan of the Japanese fashion industry.