Kanye West's Grammy-worn Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype just sold for $1.8 million, breaking the record for a publicly recorded sneaker sale. The first documented sneaker sale surpassing $1 million, the sample Yeezys are now considered to be the most valuable sneakers ever.
“We are thrilled with the result, which has nearly tripled the highest price on record," said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables. "The sale speaks volumes of Kanye’s legacy as one of the most influential clothing and sneaker designers of our time, and of the Yeezy franchise he has built which has become an industry titan. Furthermore, it builds on the recent growth in Sotheby’s sneakers, which is now offered across our Buy-Now marketplace, auction, and private sales.”
The Air Yeezy 1 was Kanye's groundbreaking first signature sneaker with Nike. He debuted the silhouette in historic fashion by wearing the Yeezys during an emotional performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards where he sang "Hey Mama" and "Stronger."
West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 was particularly impactful as it was one of the earliest signature shoes created for an artist as opposed to an athlete. Since then, many brands have gone on to partner with musicians and other creatives to create signature footwear.
“This pair is critical to the development of the Yeezy franchise, which has become one of the most important sneaker and lifestyle brands in history," Wachter stated. "Debuted on-stage at the Grammys in 2008, the sneakers set off waves in the sneaker community as people tried to identify the mysterious pair. Afterwards, we saw a series of collaborations between Kanye and Nike, and then later the birth of his line with adidas."
The Kanye-worn Air Yeezy 1 was on offer from sneaker collector and curator of @applied.arts.nyc, Ryan Chang. Coinciding with the sale, it was on display to the public from April 16 to April 21 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
For more on the private sale of the shoe, visit Sotheby's.
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