The sneakers were the prototypes for the Yeezy line developed by rapper Kanye West and Mark Smith for Nike
April 13, 2021: Kanye West sneakers help transform athletic shoes into coveted fashion items. One particular example is now to be auctioned by Sotheby's. Estimated to be worth more than $1 million, this pair of shoes is the prototype of the Yeezy series designed by Mr. West and Mark Smith for Nike and revealed at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Sotheby’s declared that the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype will be sold privately. The auction house called them one of the most valuable sneakers of all time.
In recent years, sneakers have become collectibles and joined more traditional goods such as art, wine, and jewelry in auction houses. Last May, Sotheby’s sold a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1s designed and worn by the basketball player Michael Jordan, for what was then a world-record of $560,000.
The Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes in black leather and size 12 has a Yeezy belt on the front foot and a distinctive pink Y-shaped lace medallion. A custom lasered wooden box is included, which features a design and etching by the Yeezy 1 creator, Mark Smith. These shoes were worn during Mr. West's emotional performances in "Hey Mama" and "Stronger" at the 2008 Grammy Awards, which caused a social media sensation among fashionistas.
The shoes are being auctioned by New York sneakerhead and collector Ryan Chang. The prototype sneakers will be exhibited in Hong Kong from April 16 to 21.