Kanye West's Grammy-winning Nike Air Yeezy Sneakers have just sold for $1.8 million.
"We just got appraised, and Yeezy is in the building." Sotheby's has sold Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 designs for $1.8 million in a world record-breaking private auction.
In a private auction, Sotheby's revealed on Monday (April 26) that RARES had purchased West's Nike Air Yeezy shoes, which he debuted at the 2008 Grammy Awards while performing "Hey Mama" and "Stronger."
The high-top black leather kicks were crafted at Nike's "Innovation Kitchen" lab in Beaverton, Ore., by West, Nike creative director Mark Smith, and Nike innovator Tiffany Beers. In 2009, the rapper's Nike Air Yeezy sneakers were officially launched as the first version. West quit Nike a year after launching the Nike Air Yeezy II sneakers, claiming the sportswear company had declined to pay him royalties, and launched his Yeezy sneaker and apparel range under Nike's rival Adidas in February 2015.
The shoes were donated to the auction by Ryan Chang, a well-known sneaker collector and curator at @applied.arts.nyc. In a press release, he said, "I enjoyed having this pair in my collection and have always appreciated its importance as a cultural artifact." "I'm overjoyed that this famous piece will be in good hands thanks to Sotheby's."
Legendary basketball player Michael Jordan's autographed Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers sold for $560,000 at an online Sotheby's auction on May 17, 2020, shattering the world record for highest publicly reported price for a pair of sneakers by almost three times. "Yeezy, Yeezy, Yeezy just jumped over Jumpman, ah!" West rapped in "Facts (Charlie Heat Version)," and he was right.
Nike initially sold the 2008 sample shoes in a charity auction supporting the Doernbecher Children's Hospital, according to Sotheby's, which held a private sale and public showing at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre earlier in April.
With 'Ye's sneaker empire helping him become a billionaire, it continues to set records, with the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes being the first sneakers to sell for more than $1 million.
"We are ecstatic with the outcome, which nearly tripled the previous high price. The sale reflects Kanye's status as one of the most prominent apparel and sneaker designers of our time, as well as the Yeezy brand he has created into an industry behemoth "Sotheby's head of streetwear and modern collectibles, Brahm Wachter, said in a statement. "Moreover, it builds on Sotheby's recent growth in sneakers, which is now available through our Buy-Now marketplace, auction, and private sales," says the company.
According to the RARES website, interested parties can begin reserving their spots on June 16, 2021, when the public can buy a limited share of the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes.