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Kanye West’s Air Yeezy I Smashes Record for Sneaker Sale

Kanye West’s Air Yeezy I Smashes Record for Sneaker Sale article feature image

Photo by Miguel Candela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. Pictured: Air Yeezy’s

A sneaker record has been obliterated.

Sotheby’s has sold Kanye West’s prototype of a Nike Air Yeezy I for $1.8 million, beating out the previous high for a pair of sneakers — a pair of Michael Jordan game-used Air Jordan I’s, sold by Christie’s, for $615,000.

The shoes, which West wore at the 2008 Grammy Awards, was acquired by RARES, a new SEC registered company that is selling fractional shares of legendary shoes beginning on May 13. The particular pair will IPO on June 16.

“This was our number one grail for a lot of reasons,” said Gerome Sapp, a former NFL player who is co-founder and CEO of the company which has thus far purchased 250 sneakers to sell fractional shares of. “It’s pretty much the first shoes Nike did with a non-athlete and it was with a guy who has the personality of 10 athletes. Kanye broke the mold of sneaker design and set the tone for what was to come.”

Most Expensive Sneaker Sale Prices

Sneaker Sale Price
1. Kanye West’s Air Yeezy $1.8M
2. MJ Shattered Backboard $615K
3. Game-Worn Jordan I’s $560K
4. Nike Moon Shoes $437.5K
5. Roger Bannister Mile $409K
6. Jordan I Game-Used Injury Strap $379,757
7. Game-Used Air Jordan I $369K
8. Jordan 1991 NBA Finals Game 4 $216K
9. Nike Air Mag $200K
10. Jordan Converse Olympic $190K

Sotheby’s Brahm Wachter told The Action Network that the shoes were consigned to the auction house by noted shoe collector Ryan Chang and were exhibited at Sotheby’s exhibition in Hong Kong alongside art, watches, spirits and other valuable items.

“I think the price speaks to the growth in the market and the power of the Yeezy brand,” said Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles for the company. “The market for six-figure sneakers has been growing quite rapidly and this first, seven-figure transaction in the market speaks to that.”

Sotheby’s, in partnership with shoe collector and consultant Jordy Geller, has now sold the top four sneakers ever sold, including two pairs of Air Jordans (one for $615,000 and one for $560,000) and a Moon Shoe (437,500), the earliest Nike shoe with a waffle bottom.

Yeezys were released by Nike in 2009. Kanye and the brand broke up in 2013 and he signed with adidas. The business now is worth a reported $1.7 billion a year.

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