Camping out for Kanye West sneakers

May 1, 2009 3:32:23 PM PDT
Limited edition shoes designed by the rapper go on sale tomorrow.

Kanye West is now known for more than his platinum rap albums. The sneakers he designed are the first Nike has made for someone other than an athlete. Three thousand pairs go on sale tomorrow exclusively in the U.S., in limited stores.

People who want them are camping out in cool, damp weather for the new sneakers. Some have been out since Wednesday. Demetri Simms of Brooklyn, N.Y. is the fifth in line.

"Why? Because I love sneakers," he said. "For a non-athlete, Kanye is my favorite artist."

Kevin Renz of Wilmington, Delaware said, "You are one of the few because they are limited, I guess. A lot of people want them. If you have them it's cool."

"You can just see necks going like this," said Temple University student Quentin Brown, demonstrating what he expects will happen when he is wearing the shoes.

The camping sneaker seekers are near the high-end sneaker store Ubiq on Walnut Street in Center Cityy. It is one of two Philadelphia stores selling the $300 per pair limited edition Nike Air Yeezy sneaks.

Ubiq's manager believes they're based on another, similar model.

"The main difference is that the Yeezy adds the Nike Air bubble and they are stamped on the front with y's for Yeezy," he said. "What is Yeezy? It's the nickname for Kanye."

Despite the rarity, some people don't understand investing that much in sneakers.

"I could think of a million things to do with $300 as opposed to sneakers," said Violet Martin of Winslow Township, N.J.

Most in line today were already wearing pricey sneakers. Some said an investment in Kanye sneakers is all about the Benjamins - in other words, making money.

"The resale is substantial," said S. Assad of North Philadelphia. Assad said he would be able to make $1000 for each $300 pair he purchases.

Asked to confirm whether his planned purchase is for practical not emotional reasons, John Kirchik of Northeast Philadelphia said, "I'm going to be emotional if I don't get them."

The sneakers go on sale tomorrow at 11:00am at the Ubiq store on Walnut Street and a store on 52nd Street in West Philadelphia.

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