The rare Nike Air Yeezy sample that sold for a record $1.8 million earlier this year has now been listed as an IPO valuating the sneaker at $2 million.
Rares, an SEC-qualified platform that treats sneakers just like stocks, opened its initial public offering for the sneaker over the weekend with 72,000 shares available at $25 a piece. The shares are still available online, meaning you can own a piece of the most expensive sneaker ever sold.
Sotheby’s sold the Air Yeezy sample to Rares in April as part of a private deal. The rare sneaker then served as part of the launch strategy for Rares, a first-of-its-kind platform founded by former NFL player Gerome Sapp that has also made shares available for sneakers including an original Air Jordan 1 from 1985 and niche sneaker created by Apple in the ‘90s.
“You’re actually investing in real securities,” Sapp told Input in August. “For a lot of people, this is their first investment. It’s a gateway into bigger investments and multiple types of investments. The old adage of ‘invest in what you know’ — we take that to the next level with sneakers.”
What makes this Yeezy so valuable? — The Air Yeezy sample now available to investors was worn by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammy Awards and marked the first time his highly anticipated sneaker was seen by the public. Made in a size 12 in Nike’s Innovation Kitchen, the sneaker was ordered to be returned by West immediately following the award show in order to keep the collaboration shrouded in secrecy.
Prior to the Sotheby’s sale, the Air Yeezy changed hands at least two times, beginning with a 2009 fundraiser for the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The sample then sold again for $75,000 in 2015 — peanuts compared to the record-breaking sale earlier this year and the even higher valuation at IPO.
The $1.8 million sale price more than tripled the previous record holder, a pair of game-worn and autographed Air Jordan 1s that auctioned for $560,000 in the summer of 2020. That figure was again eclipsed last month when pair of Nike Air Ships worn by Michael Jordan before he received his signature shoe sold for $1.5 million, now the record holder for most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction.