These Old Sneakers Are About to Break a Sotheby's Record

Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototypes worn by Kanye West at 2008 Grammys set to sell for $1 million
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
These Old Sneakers Are About to Break a Sotheby's Record
In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, Kanye West is seen during a service at Lakewood Church in Houston.   (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)

If you saw them thrown in the corner of a bedroom, you'd think these black size 12 sneakers were just any old pair of Nikes. Instead, they've just become Sotheby's most expensive shoe listing ever, set to be auctioned off this month for more than $1 million, per the Guardian. This "unprecedented and historic offering" from the auction house is actually the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype pair worn by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammys, footwear that Sotheby's notes was created as an "entirely new silhouette—designed for an artist rather than an athlete."

When Kanye sported the sneakers, which he designed with Nike's Mark Smith, to the 2008 awards show, it "marked one of the most brilliant reveals in sneaker history ... and made the Yeezy a pillar in the advent of modern sneaker culture" and "one of the most prized and sought-after sneakers in existence," per a release. The Yeezys are likely to break the Sotheby's record for a shoe auction, currently held by a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s that sold for $615,000 in 2020. The sneakers, which will be auctioned off via a private sale, are on display at an exhibit in Hong Kong through Wednesday. (Read more Kanye West stories.)

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