Kanye West is still team adidas, but his first signature sneaker was a Nike sneaker. Auction house Sotheby’s is putting up for a sale a Nike Air Yeezy sample that the multi-hyphenate star wore to the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Not just anyone with the coin will be able to bid on these kicks, though. Sotheby’s is offering the shoe up via a private sale. The Kanye West ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy Prototypes will be only available for direct purchase, so if you’re interested, you’re going to have to contact Sotheby’s directly to even be considered.
Keep in mind, that these joints are reportedly valued at over $1 million, making them the most expensive kicks ever to land at Sotheby’s. Recently, the famed auction house has teamed with Stadium Goods to make some rare kicks, but nothing was hitting this price tag.
The lore behind this particularly Yeezy—there were only two models before he jumped shipped and collected a hefty bag from adidas—is that was in these very shoes when he performed “Hey Mama” and “Stronger” at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards 13 years ago. Sneakerheads were transfixed upon noting that Kanye West was rocking his own pair of custom Nikes. Someone, someway, Ryan Chang is who came to possess the kicks and the curator of @applied.arts.nyc will be putting them on public exhibition from April 16 through April 21 in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A pair of Nikes will be on display next classical Chinese artwork including paintings. watches and jewelry.
“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,” says Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables, in a statement. “…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. We are excited to bring this item to market in Hong Kong alongside other sneakers from our Buy-Now Sneaker Shop – available for immediate purchase – and hope that sneakerheads as well as music and fashion lovers will enjoy visiting this iconic pair at our exhibition in Hong Kong.”
If you can shell out over a milli for these, you can certainly finesse your way into Hong Kong to see them for yourself.
Adds Yang, “As a collector, I’ve always considered sneakers to be design objects – a physical confluence of artistry, history, and in this case, music. The Air Yeezy Prototype is particularly special to me because it captured the cultural moment in 2008 so perfectly. There he was, Kanye West, on stage at the Grammys, winning 4 awards just that evening, and unveiling an incredibly important and iconic design in Nike’s storied history.”
Check out photos of the Air Yeezy Prototype below.