It’s been two years since Ye first showed off a collaboration between Yeezy and New York Knicks player Derrick Rose. Despite little demand for the joint silhouette, it seems the two have continued to refine their project. The slip-on shoes, known only as the “YZY Rose,” were spotted on Rose himself as he walked through Madison Square Garden prior to a Knicks game Wednesday night.
Rose’s off-court look marks a rare appearance for the shoes. Kanye and Rose have sporadically teased prototypes of the YZY Rose online — with the basketball player’s wife Alaina serving as a key model for the ribbed shoes — but no one’s been able to tell how the clogs actually respond to movement until now. Their build, similar to that of the Yeezy Foam Runner, seems ideal for comfort — but not necessarily a fast-paced basketball game, which is what Ye and Rose designed the shoes for.
Meant for hype only? — Last year, Ye and Rose shared future plans for the YZY Rose, including suggestions of project updates, on-court plans, and next steps — seemingly confirming the ridge-like shoes would make it on-foot to NBA courts. After Twitter users compared the shoe to fish bones, worms, and other less-tasteful items, Rose also vocalized his support for Kanye in an Instagram post. “[Kanye] represents Black Opulence and we love Ye for that and always will,” he wrote.” Rose did not comment on the timelessness of his joint Yeezy model, however.
Based on the recent photos of the YZY Rose, it looks like there’s been minimal change to the clog. Ridges continue to add texture to the slip-on, but a slightly modified pattern seems to provide additional traction underfoot — a key update should the shoes hit the hardwood. An all-white makeup makes the build of the YZY Rose more noticeable, showing off defined arch support and slightly upturned toes. The shoe remains laceless, meaning its upper is flexible enough to slip in and out of while (hopefully) retaining a secure fit.
Ball is life — Rose, like Ye, is part of the Adidas family — and over the past year, it’s become evident that the brand hopes to revive its basketball department. At the tail end of 2020, Adidas began its on-court renaissance by signing Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo to drive the creative and business strategy globally for its basketball sector, and last year continued the effort by giving NBA star Trae Young his own sneaker model.
Re-releases of Adidas’ most popular basketball shoes, such as the Tracy McGrady’s T-Mac 1 “All-Star” sneaker, have followed alongside new releases, the most notable being the Adidas Yeezy BSKTBL Knit. It’s still in question whether the YZY Rose will actually make it on the court — or even release at all — but the names attached to the shoe should be more than enough of a selling point for Adidas.