Kanye West’s first Nike Yeezy sneakers, which he debuted during a performance at the 50th Grammy Awards, are to be sold for over $1 million, according to Sotheby’s prediction.
AFP reports that the buyer and final price will not be released unless the person comes forward, as sneakers are part of a private sale.
After his debut performance at the Grammys, he kick-started the multi-billion-dollar valued Yeezy sneaker and clothing brand the following year in partnership with Nike. However, West parted ways with Nike in 2013 after complaining that his share of the revenue was insufficient.
He subsequently announced a partnership with Adidas in 2014, a partnership that has lasted to this day. Also, the partnership has been a huge commercial success, generating almost $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020, according to an internal UBS bank note cited by Bloomberg.
According to Sotheby, “the Nike Air Yeezy I and Air Yeezy II are still some of the most coveted sneakers by collectors,” adding that West’s prototype pair in question are the most valuable sneakers ever to be sold by the auction house.
“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,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables, noted in a statement.
“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 sneakers, which will be on display at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 16 to April 21, are being sold by shoe collector Ryan Chang and are expected to bring in over $1 million.
West was recently in the news as the richest Black man in U.S. history per Bloomberg’s calculations. However, the rapper’s reported net worth was immediately disputed by Forbes as being slightly below $2 billion instead of $6.4 billion.