As spotted on CNN Sotheby’s announced this week that sneaker investing platform RARES has acquired the Kanye West ‘Grammy Worn’ shoes from 2008 for a record-breaking $1.8 million via private sale. The price sets a new milestone for a publicly recorded sneaker sale, shattering the current auction record for sneakers by almost three times, and establishes the Yeezy 1 Prototypes as the most valuable sneakers ever and the first recorded sneaker sale for more than $1 million.
Worn during Kanye’s memorable and emotional performance of “Hey Mama” and “Stronger” during the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, the present pair unveiled Nike’s top-secret project and marked one of the most brilliant reveals in sneaker history: and made the Yeezy a pillar in the advent of modern sneaker culture. One of the most prized and sought-after sneakers in existence, the pair was on offer from Ryan Chang, a renowned sneaker collector.
For more than a year prior to the reveal, rumors swirled that a Kanye sneaker was in development. In one of the most brilliant and hyped reveals in sneaker history, Nike and Kanye revealed during the rapper’s 2008 Grammy’s performance a pair of sneakers that even top aficionados could not identify – the only clue was a Swoosh. The sneaker world erupted in a frenzy, as blogs and social media lit up across a community eager to learn about the new design.
The Kanye West and Mark Smith designed samples were built in Nike’s lab – known as the ‘Innovation Kitchen’ – at the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon in 2007. The size 12 shoe is 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 iconic Yeezy forefoot strap and signature ‘Y’ medallion lace locks in bright pink. A custom lasered wooden box is included, which features a design and etching by the Yeezy 1 creator, Mark Smith.
Kanye West has yet to comment on the auction.