A prototype of Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 shoe, which he wore at the 2008 Grammys, set a new sneaker sale record when it sold for $1.8 million at a private sale at Sotheby’s.
The American rapper’s 2008 ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy samples were prototypes for a line developed by West and Mark Smith for Nike. They were revealed during West’s performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
The buyer was sneaker investing platform RARES, which paid the highest publicly recorded price for the pair. RARES is a leader in fractional ownership, allowing users to invest in sneakers by buying and trading shares in them.
The private sale shattered the current auction record for sneakers, far above the $560,000 that Sotheby’s scored in May 2020 for a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1’s, designed for and worn by basketball player Michael Jordan.
Monday’s sale demolished a record set last year when a pair of NBA superstar Michael Jordan’s Nike game shoes sold at auction for $615,000. Last year, Forbes estimated West was worth $1.3 billion, thanks in part the success of Yeezy. The record-breaking Yeezy sneakers were displayed at Sotheby’s space in Hong Kong before being sold. The prototype pair was first put on the market by Nike in a charity auction supporting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, according to Sotheby’s.