words // Brandon Richard
According to Jasper, Kanye designed what is now known as the adidas ZX 850 for Reebok eight years ago. Parent company to Reebok since Fall 2005, adidas apparently resurrected the once-shelved project for a launch last year.
This news hasn't been confirmed, but Jasper has provided extra evidence to back up his claim. First, a story about how Kanye drew inspiration from the Nike Air Max 90 for the design. Also, e-mail exchanges between himself, Kanye, Don C and Virgl Abloh, in which Kanye does seem to react as if he's responsible for the design.
Complex did a little bit of investigative work, getting Sneakersnstuff co-owner Peter Jansson's take on the whole situation.
"The shoe that James Bond did for David Beckham was based on the ZX 800 (not the ZX 850), a shoe that was originally designed by Jacques Chassaing in the early-1980s. With that in mind, I figured that Kanye cannot possibly be the designer.
The ZX 850 is not an archive shoe, and it's based on the ZX 800 and the ZX 750 (based on the popular ZX700). It was product that adidas originally did for stores like JD sports and Foot Locker."
So, who are we to believe? The ZX 850 is a great sneaker, but there's not a lot to gain in lying about its origin. Do you buy Jasper's Kanye x Nike Air Max 90 story? Let us know what you think and we'll update you if any new information surfaces.