WORDS BY JOSEPH FURNESS
By now, you’ve probably got a cornucopia of adidas Yeezy shoes in your sneaker collection. A few Yeezy Boost 350s here. A handful of Yeezy Boost 700s there. A pair of Yeezy slides for the summer. Some Yeezy 500 Highs for the winter. But how much do you know about the meaning behind the names of the Yeezy colourways?
Think about it: you hashtagged ‘Resin’ on that crep check pic of your yellow 450s, recently informed your peers that the ‘Vermillion’ Yeezy Foam RNNR is a “must cop”, and you wear your pair of ‘Covellite’ 380s to each every gym session, yet you’re clueless about the origins of such monikers. Allow us to enlighten you.
'Sulfur' is the bold yellow hue that adorns the OG Yeezy Knit RNR and OG Knit RNR Boot. The colourway takes its name from the nonmetal chemical element Sulfur (or ‘Sulphur’, in British English) – a bright yellow crystalline solid that’s essential to all living things.
'Yechiel' is a Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourway that builds upon a blacked-out foundation with notes of red, blue, pink and yellow. Outside of the adidas Yeezy brand, Yechiel is a Hebrew boy's name meaning “God Lives”. Manifestly, Ye aimed to symbolise the transcendence of God with this unearthly combination of colours.
'Ararat' is the off-white shade of the coveted OG Yeezy Foam RNNR. The colourway is inspired by Mount Ararat, a snow-capped mountain in Turkey – near the borders of Iran and Armenia – said to be the landing place of Noah’s ark. God knows Ye loves a biblical reference.
'Beluga' – the original Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourway – is a soft grey colourway accented by a safety orange stripe. The colourway is named after the Beluga whale: the grey-coloured Arctic and sub-Arctic toothed cetacean.
'Israfil' is a pale blue 2020 Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourway punctuated by a muted orange hue. In the Quran, Israfil is an archangel who blows the trumpet from a holy rock in Jerusalem to announce the Day of Resurrection. Frequently, the angel is depicted as having blue and orange wings.
'Vanta' is the highly sought-after blacked-out Yeezy Boost 700 V2. What you may already know is that the colourway takes inspiration from Vantablack, a super-black coating developed by Surrey NanoSystems that absorbs 99.9923% of light. What you may not know is that Vanta is an acronym for ‘Vertically Aligned Nano Tube Array’.
'Ochre' is the muddy brown Yeezy slide colourway that debuted in December ‘21. The term derives from the name for the family of clay pigments that contain ferric oxide. There’s red ochre, yellow ochre, purple ochre umber and sienna.
'Citrin' is a neutral Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourway complete with a gum sole. The word citrin is another term for ‘bioflavonoid’ – health-boosting compounds once known as Vitamin P. We guess the taupe tones of this release were chosen to represent raw nutritional goodness.
'Azeal' is the name of the cream and white OG Yeezy Boost 700 V3 colourway. Azeal is a Hebrew boy's name meaning “made from God”. It may be safe to assume that the pure, dove-like colourway is symbolic of God’s purity.
'Kyanite' takes the ‘Azeal’ Yeezy Boost 700 V2 colourway and adds a welcome dash of blue to the sidewall. The colourway is named after a blue crystalline mineral that’s thought to be good for those looking to restore balance to their lives. The word Kyanite derives from “Kyanos”, the Greek word for deep blue.
'Onyx' is a black colourway that’s already adorned the Yeezy QNTM and Yeezy Boost 380, and, according to rumours, is soon to grace the Yeezy Slide, Yeezy Foam RNNR and Yeezy Boost 350 V2 silhouettes. When it’s not a Yeezy colourway, Onyx is a layered chalcedony: a stone that’s said to have healing and empowering properties.
'Tephra' is a Yeezy Boost 700 V2 colourway that coordinates different shades of brown and grey. The geological noun describes the materials – usually greyish-brown rock fragments – thrown into the air after a volcanic eruption.
'Covellite’ is a predominantly indigo blue Yeezy Boost 380 colourway. The name is a direct reference to a rare blue mineral consisting of copper sulphide that was initially discovered by Italian mineralogist Niccolo Covelli.
'Antlia' is a yellow Yeezy Boost 350 V2 colourway that’s available in a reflective and non-reflective version. It is the name of a southern constellation that depicts an air pump. Bearing this in mind, it's likely that the shade of yellow is inspired by the stars.
'Sumac' is a red, brown and blue Yeezy 500 High colourway. Botanists will know that the colourway’s namesake is a large bush or small tree that typically produces fruit of a bright red colour that’s grounded to create a tangy spice.
'Vermillion' is one of the most popular Yeezy Foam RNNR colourways released thus far. It’s a vibrant red colourway named after a pigment made from mercury sulphide (a chemical compound composed of mercury and sulphur).
'Resin' is an Earthy yellow Yeezy 450 colourway released in 2021. The noun describes the organic substance exuded from different plants and trees. The sticky matter is usually a yellowy-brown colour.
'Inertia' is a blue, grey and orange colourway that’s beautified the Yeezy Boost 700 V1 and the Yeezy Boost 700 V2. The word inertia is a physics term that describes the force that keeps something still or moving in the same direction. As adidas Yeezy is constantly moving forward, we suppose this colourway is supposed to symbolise the future.