In this file photo musician Kanye West performs onstage during the 50th annual Grammy awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.-AFP

A pair of Kanye West's first Nike Yeezy sneakers, which he debuted on stage at the Grammys, are to be sold, with Sotheby's predicting the shoes could fetch in excess of $1 million. The Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers are part of a private sale-which means neither the final price nor the buyer will be released unless the individual comes forward. The sneaker range were the first to be launched by West's Yeezy brand, and caused a fashion furore when he wore them during a 2008 Grammys performance.

Previously, Nike had only worked with athletes and West's shoe was a significant break for the US brand. The Air Yeezy 1 launched in a limited series in 2009, followed by the Air Yeezy 2 in 2012. The following year, West ended his partnership with Nike-deeming his share of the revenue insufficient-going on to work with Adidas in 2014.

That partnership was a huge commercial success, generating almost $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020, according to an internal UBS bank note cited by Bloomberg. Although not the sole designer of the shoe, West heavily influenced the look. The sneakers, which are being sold by shoe collector Ryan Chang, will be on display in Hong Kong from April 16. In August last year a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 were sold for $615,000 by Christie's.-AFP