Sotheby’s Is Offering Kanye West’s 2008 ‘Grammy-Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy Sample

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Robyn Merrett
·2 min read
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Sotheby’s is offering up Kanye West‘s first signature sneaker.

The Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes, which the rapper wore during his performance of “Hey Mama” at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in 2008, will be available for direct purchase via a private sale, the auction house announced today. Sotheby’s is inviting interested buyers to submit offers directly to the auction house to be considered.

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The shoes are valued at over $1 million — making them the most valuable kicks to ever appear at Sotheby’s and “among the most valuable sneakers to ever be offered on the market.”

Making the sneakers all the more exciting, when West wore them on stage it was the first time his shoe with Nike was unveiled to the public.

As for looks, the shoe, which was brought to life in Nike’s lab — also known as the “Innovation Kitchen” — feature soft black leather uppers with perforated detailing throughout the upper. The heel overlay is then branded with a tonal Swoosh. Additionally, the design features the Yeezy forefoot strap and signature “Y” medallion lace locks in bright pink. Lastly, a custom lasered wooden box is included that is equipped with design and etching by Yeezy 1 creator Mark Smith. West decided to leave Nike in 2013 and would then join rival Adidas.

The sample shoes were previously owned by Ryan Chang, a renowned sneaker collector and curator of @Applied.Arts.NYC. The kicks will be on public exhibition from April 16 to April 17 in Hong Kong at the Hong Long Convention and Exhibition.

“The Air Yeezy Prototype is particularly special to me because it captured the cultural moment in 2008 so perfectly,” Chang said in a statement. “There he was, Kanye West, on stage at the Grammys, winning four awards just that evening, and unveiling an incredibly important and iconic design in Nike’s storied history.”

Sotheby’s latest offering comes after the company announced the auction of 50 of the most rare Nikes ever produced, including Kanye West-signed Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Mismatch” Sample sneakers. The auction ran through March 29 and also featured: the Nike Air Force 1 Entourage x Undefeated x Fukijama Gold (created in commemoration of the HBO series “Entourage”).

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