Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype jumped over the Air Jordan Jumpman and sold for $1.8M at a Sotheby’s auction making them the highest-selling pair of sneakers ever.
The previous record was held by a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s that sold for $615k last year.
Kanye West first wore the Prototypes at the 2008 Grammy Awards, a few months after the death of his mother.
See Kanye wearing the Prototypes while performing “Stronger” at the 2008 Grammys in the video below:
According to Sotheby’s auction house:
The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale ever.
The sale also marks the first pair of sneakers to top $1M.
The shoes were sold by shoe collector Ryan Chang, and they were purchased by RARES, an internet platform for investing in rare footwear.
Its users can buy shares in a pair of sneakers similar to how investors buy stocks in a company.
Sotheby’s estimated the Prototype Yeezy’s to sell for $1M, the sale price nearly doubled the estimate.
The Air Yeezy 1 was launched in a limited series in 2009, a year after Kanye wore the Prototypes at the Grammys.
The Air Yeezy 2 dropped in 2012, but in 2013 Kanye ended his partnership with Nike because he felt his revenue shares from the shoes were insufficient.
Kanye West started working with Adidas in 2014, which has proven to be very lucrative.
According to Forbes and Bloomberg reports, Adidas Yeezy’s generated $1.7B in 2020.
Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and collectibles at Sotheby’s said the record-breaking $1.8M sale, “speaks volumes of Kanye’s legacy as one of the most influential clothing and sneaker designers of our time, and of the Yeezy franchise he has built which has become an industry titan”.