The first pair of Kanye West’s own-brand sneakers are set to become the most expensive sneakers ever sold.
The rapper’s concept Yeezy size-12s are up for sale at Sotheby’s in London for more than $1 million (£728,000).
It surpasses the previous high of £408,000 charged for a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1 sneakers made for and worn by basketball legend Michael Jordan last year.
Since the Nike Air Yeezy 1s are being sold by trainer nut Ryan Chang, Kanye will not benefit directly from their sale.
However, the sale would increase the value of his sneaker empire, which is currently worth £3.4 billion.
Kanye West, who is currently divorcing Kim Kardashian, 40, was named the richest black man in the United States last month, with an estimated net worth of nearly £5 billion.
During his performances of Hey Mama and Stronger at the 50th Grammy Awards in February 2008, he wore a sample of his Nike-made shoes.
It sent trainer aficionados on a search to find the shoes.
However, Kanye had to return them to Nike’s “Innovation Kitchen” lab in Oregon after the show because the upcoming Yeezy shoe line release was kept so secret.
When they eventually debuted the following year, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 kicked off the multibillion-dollar Yeezy sneaker and clothing company.
Kanye left Nike in 2013 to form a partnership with Adidas, with whom he is still working today.
“The Nike Air Yeezy I and Air Yeezy II are now some of the most coveted shoes by collectors,” according to Sotheby’s.
“Debuted on-stage at the Grammys in 2008, the sneakers set off waves in the sneaker world as people sought to recognize the enigmatic pair,” said Brahm Wachter, the auction house’s Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables.
“Following that, we saw a series of deals between Kanye and Nike, followed by the launch of his own brand with Adidas.”
The sneakers will be on display at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 16 to April 21, and the name of the buyer will be kept confidential unless they want to disclose it.
They were first sold as “Grammy Worn” to raise money for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, which Nike frequently supports.
By comparing them to the pair worn by Kanye, Sotheby’s used external experts to photo-analyze them for authenticity.
They searched for signs of a contest, such as the soft perforated black leather and the now-iconic Yeezy forefoot harness.
The Yeezy brand is a shortening of Kanye West’s nickname “Kanyeezy,” which Jay-Z gave him in the intro to his song Lucifer on The Black Album in 2003.