RARES company pays $1.8M for Kanye's old Nike Air Yeezy 1s
A pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1s worn by rapper Kanye West sold for $1.8 million, breaking the previous record for sneakers according to Sotheby's.
The shoes broke the previous record, which was held by a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s that sold for $615,000 at a Christie's auction in August 2020.
Sotheby's said in a statement on Monday that "the auction marks the highest publicly reported price for a sneaker sale ever.
"This is also the first time a pair of sneakers has sold for more than $1 million," it said.
West wore the black high top Yeezys when performing "Hey Mama" and "Stronger" at the 2008 Grammy Awards.
Very rare sporting apparel
The shoes, which were part of a Nike-West partnership, were prototypes, with the final model not hitting stores until April 2009.
RARES, a sneaker investment platform that allows users to invest in unusual pairs of athletic sneakers, purchased the shoes.
Individuals can purchase shares in a pair in the same way as investors can purchase stock in a corporation.
Ryan Chang, a sneaker collector, sold the Air Yeezy 1s to RARES in a private auction.
Industry titan' is a term used to describe someone who works in the manufacturing industry
The price "speaks volumes of Kanye's legacy as one of the most successful apparel and sneaker designers of our time, and of the Yeezy brand he has created, which has become an industry titan," according to Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and new collectibles at Sotheby's.
Nike had only called sneakers after famous athletes before working with West.
In 2009, the Air Yeezy 1 was released in a limited edition, and in 2012, the Air Yeezy 2 was released.
Depending on the model, most Air Yeezy 1s cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
West began his career with Nike before moving on to Adidas to launch his own brand.
According to Bloomberg, an internal note from UBS bank revealed that Yeezy sneakers created approximately $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020.