Christie‘s may be known for catering to the old-fashioned and chichi. However, the 256-year-old London auction house is making a pretty hip statement with the launch of a new segment on September 27 called Department X. It will be more focused on streetwear and urban culture, and the inaugural exhibition is a private sale of two exclusive pairs of kicks owned by Kanye West. Ye Walks,
“Ye Walks focuses on Kanye West’s impact on the landscape of design and sports iconography. 21-time Grammy winner West is one of the most decorated artists of our time,” the company says on its website. “While celebrated for music, Kanye has since become one of the most influential figures in the sneakers and streetwear space.”
The two pairs being auctioned are the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Sneaker Prototype, more famously known as Ye’s 2008 ‘Grammy Worn’ Nike Air Yeezy Sample sneakers, and an unreleased pair called The Donda Air Jordan VI.
Last year, the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Sneaker Prototype made history when Sotheby’s sold them to retired NFL safety Gerome Sapp for $1.8 billion. But according to Christie’s, maybe less than a half dozen pairs of the Donda Jordan VIs even exist. And they never saw daylight as a gesture of respect from the Jordan Brand to West.
Caitlin Donovan, Christie’s Head of Handbags, Streetwear, and Sneakers – Americas made the following comments in a press release: “With a finger on the pulse of popular culture, and the evolution of what is defined as luxury today, we are proud to announce the launch of Department X – Sneakers, Streetwear & Collectibles. With exciting sales that will cross several genres of popular culture and collecting – music, fashion, and sports history – I am excited for new and existing clients of Christie’s to embark on this journey with us.”
Prices for the rare Ye sneakers on sale at Christie’s are available upon inquiry here and here.