Kanye West’s sample pair of his Air Yeezy sneakers are being auctioned for $1 million (R14,5 million)
Sotheby’s has listed the size-12 footwear, which the 43-year-old rap megastar wore for his iconic 2008 Grammys performance, in what marks the most expensive shoe listing for the auction house.
The black leather shoes with a faded Nike Swoosh were designed by Kanye and Mark Smith at Nike’s Innovation Kitchen in Oregon.
While the sale is private, collector Ryan Chang will put the Air Yeezy sneakers on display at his exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which runs between April 16 to April 21.
Dropping today: Kanye West Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes, the iconic sneakers worn during #Kanye‘s performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008. The pair introduced the Nike Yeezy to the world, forever redefining sneaker culture. #SothebysSneakers https://t.co/K3j4Kr0wRL
— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) April 12, 2021
The Stronger hitmaker’s Yeezy line went on to make him a billionaire
Kanye – who is currently going divorce proceedings with his estranged wife Kim Kardashian West – created his exclusive footwear brand in partnership with Adidas in 2015, and went on to unveil his first apparel collection named ‘Yeezy Season 1’ that same year.
Before his Yeezy partnership, the ‘Golddigger’ hitmaker designed shoes for Bathing Ape and Nike in 2012, however after five years and three silhouettes of sneakers, Kanye ended their partnership because the latter failed to grant him royalties.
Opening up about the Nike Air Yeezy II release in 2012, Kanye said: “It was the first shoe to have the same level of impact as an Air Jordan, and I wanted to do more. And at that time Nike refused to give celebrities royalties on their shoes.”
Kanye went on to have his successful long-running partnership with Adidas after they agreed to pay him royalties, and the rapper likes to make limited quantities of his trainer releases because it helps the brand stay relevant and “sell”.
He added: “What makes celebrity products sell so well is scarcity.
“So if they make it too broadly available, I think it crashes the business model.”
Author: BANG Showbiz