It’s not unusual for designer footwear to be expensive… but more than one million dollars?!

This could only be Kanye West. The first Yeezy sneakers that he ever wore in public are now up for sale for the heft price tag.
Cast your mind back to 2008 – that’s when he debuted them at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The shoes are Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes, and the auction price makes them some of the most expensive shoes ever.

That’s according to Sotheby’s auction house. They’ve been described in a press release as “one of the most prized and sought-after sneakers in existence,” and are available for private sale.

 Sotheby’s did not reveal an exact asking price, though it said it has valued the item “in excess of $1 million.” Check down the back of the sofa for some spare change, perhaps.

Designed For An Artist

On Instagram, Sotheby’s wrote: “Dropping today: Kanye West ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes, the iconic sneakers worn during the artist’s memorable and emotional performance of ‘Hey Mama’ and ‘Stronger’ at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008.”

“The pair introduced the Nike Yeezy to the world, redefining what a signature shoe could be. Created exclusively for Kanye, the Air Yeezy was an entirely new silhouette – designed for an artist rather than an athlete – and paved the way for many of the artist collaborations of today.”

“One of the most prized and sought-after sneakers in existence, the pair is on offer via private sale from Ryan Chang, renowned sneaker collector and curator of @applied.arts.nyc, and will be on public exhibition from 16 – 21 April in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.”

If the price does exceed more than a million, that would beat the current auction record of $615,000.
That figure was set at Christie’s in May 2020 for a pair of autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s worn by Michael Jordan in 1985.
Sneaker collector Ryan Cheng is the person selling the shoes.

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If you’re a size 12, you’re in luck, as that’s West’s shoe size.

Brahm Wachter is Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables. He told CNN:  “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”

The Iconic Pair

The shoes up for auction were first created in 2007 at Nike’s “Innovation Kitchen” in Oregon.
Cheng’s pair are prototypes, and they’re an early version of the Nike Air Yeezy colorways. The final versions went on sale in 2009.
So if this pair are up for £1 million, how much would a pair have set you back originally?
The colorways sold for $215 a pair at the time – much more reasonable. It’s worth nothing though that eBay resales can today reach $8,000.
Image via Alamy