Immortal soles: Kanye West Nikes shatter sneaker record at auction – The Guardian

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Fashion

  • Prototype Nikes worn at 2008 Grammys auctioned for $1.8m
  • Figure is triple that paid for Michael Jordan footwear last year

Associated Press in New York

Mon 26 Apr 2021 17.19 BST

A pair of prototype Nikes worn by Kanye West during his performances of Hey Mama and Stronger at the Grammy Awards in 2008 has shattered the record for a pair of sneakers ever sold.

Sotheby’s announced on Monday that West’s so-called “Grammy Worn” Nike Air Yeezy 1 fetched $1.8m in a private sale. It was acquired by Rares, a sneaker investment marketplace.

The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale and the first pair of sneakers to top $1m. Sotheby’s brokered the private sale.

The size 12 shoes designed by West and Mark Smith are made of soft black leather with perforated detailing throughout the upper, and the heel overlay is branded with a tonal Swoosh. The design features the Yeezy forefoot strap and signature “Y” medallion lacelocks in bright pink.

Kanye West performs at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on 10 February 2008. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

The price is nearly triple the auction record for a sneaker set in 2020 at Christie’s for $615,000. That was a pair of ’85 Jordan 1s that the basketball superstar wore when he memorably shattered the backboard during a pre-season game in Italy.

“We are thrilled with the result, which has nearly tripled the highest price on record,” Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement.

“The sale speaks volumes of Kanye’s legacy as one of the most influential clothing and sneaker designers of our time, and of the Yeezy franchise he has built which has become an industry titan.”

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