190114  Kanye West
Kanye West Image Credit: Reuters

A significant piece of Grammys and sneaker history could be yours — for a very hefty price.

Valued at more than a record-breaking $1 million (approx Dh 3.7 million) the Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype worn by rapper Kanye West at the 50th Grammy Awards is on sale this month at Sotheby’s auction house.

These aren’t just any old pair of shoes. The first look at a top-secret collaboration between Nike and the rap mogul, West’s Air Yeezy 1 was the debut of what was to become his billion-dollar Yeezy fashion brand. And the shoes took the sneaker world by storm in 2008 ahead of a booming black market for luxury sneakers..

“The Air Yeezy was an entirely new silhouette — created for an artist rather than an athlete, and paved the way for many of the artist collaborations of today,” Sotheby’s said in a press release for the auction. A company representative noted that the pair on sale was created exclusively for West.

The shoes are available for purchase via a private sale, in which prospective buyers submit their offers to the auction house. They’ll also be on display at an exhibition in Hong Kong from Friday until April 21.

Ryan Chang, a sneaker collector and curator who previously owned the shoes, appreciates them for their cultural significance. “The Air Yeezy Prototype is particularly special to me because it captured the cultural moment in 2008 so perfectly,” he said in a statement.

The 2008 Grammys were particularly momentous for West. He took home four awards (out of eight nominations), including rap album honors for 2007’s “Graduation.”

Kanye West

Backed by Daft Punk, West performed a commanding rendition of his hit “Stronger” at the ceremony before transitioning to an emotional version of “Hey Mama,” the song he wrote for his mother, who had died three months prior.

The prototypes West wore for the performance come in a soft black leather, each shoe adorned with Nike’s swoosh and the forefoot strap that would become archetypal of Yeezy sneaker design. The Size 12 shoes up for auction also have bright pink medallions that weren’t worn during the show.