Kanye West

Kanye West's first Yeezy sneakers valued at $1 million

A prototype pair of Kanye West's first Yeezy sneakers is for sale with a valuation of more than $1 million. The Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes were the prototype for the first Yeezy line created by West and Mark Smith for Nike in 2008, which West revealed at the 2008 Grammy Awards, according to Sotheby's Auction House, who's brokering the sale. West wore the sneakers at the awards during his performance of his songs "Hey Mama" and "Stronger." 

The Yeezy prototypes could become the most expensive sneakers ever sold. Source: Sotheby's

According to Sotheby's, they're the most valuable sneakers ever to come onto the market, marking the launch of West's Yeezy brand that helped make him a billionaire.

If the Yeezy sneakers sell near their $1 million valuation, they will break the record for the most expensive sneaker sale ever. The current record is held by a pair of Michael Jordan's Air Jordan 1s, which sold for $560,000 in May 2020.

West wore the size 12 prototype sneakers during his performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Ryan Chang, the New York-based collector who's selling the sneakers, said he sees the sneakers as a piece of art. 

"The Air Yeezy Prototype is particularly special to me because it captured the cultural moment in 2008 so perfectly,"

The prototype was created in Nike's lab in Beaverton, Oregon, in 2007, according to Sotheby's. The size 12 shoe is made from soft black leather, with perforated detailing and a tonal Swoosh on the heel overlay.

"There he was, Kanye West, on stage at the Grammys, winning 4 awards that evening, and unveiling an incredibly important and iconic design in Nike's storied history." 

The design includes the signature Yeezy forefoot strap and bright pink  "Y" medallion lacelocks. Sotheby's
Although West's Yeezy brand has partnered with Adidas rather than Nike since 2013, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 was "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 and modern collectibles, said in a statement.

The design includes the signature Yeezy forefoot strap and bright pink "Y" medallion lacelocks. Sotheby's

Bloomberg recently valued West's Yeezy empire at between $3.2 and $4.7 billion. Last year, Yeezy brought in roughly $1.7 billion in sales and grew its revenue 30%, Forbes reported.

West's personal net worth, however, has long been a source of contention.

For years, West has insisted he's a billionaire and tried to get Forbes to put him on the magazine's annual Billionaires List, but it wasn't until April 2020 that the magazine finally declared West a billionaire. Now, Forbes pegs his net worth at $1.8 billion and has disputed last month's Bloomberg report that said West is worth $6.6 billion.

The Yeezy sneakers are being sold in a private Sotheby's sale that started on April 12 and has no end date. Interested buyers can inquire directly with Sotheby's sale directors to make an offer on the pair. Between April 16 and 21, the sneakers will be on display at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

Source: Business Insider

Bruno Wahrmann Lockhart

Digital Media Expert. Journalist. Former TV host. University of San Diego Alumni. 6′ 4″ but my mom still calls me 'tiny'+ info

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