Kanye West’s Yeezy’s worn at the 2008 Grammy’s turned out to be as big a blockbuster as his chart toppers. The prototype Nike Air Yeezy’s were touted as the most valuable sneakers of all time that went under the hammer for a whopping $1.8 million. Those were the glory days and what Kanye West is living now are simply gory days. Christie’s is following in the footsteps of Adidas and other major brands that have cut ties with Ye. The auction of Nike Air Yeezy 1 is halted amid the ongoing controversy.
“We are not selling any of this material, nor do we have any plans to,” a Christie’s spokesperson told Artnet News. Not only is the sale paused for now, but the Instagram handle belonging to Department X, Christie’s new sector for luxury sneakers, streetwear, and sports collectibles, has also gone offline. Under the oversight of Caitlin Donovan, the best from the worlds of music, fashion, art, and sports history was to be made available to a new and enthusiastic generation of collectors. Christie’s declined to comment if the disappearance of Department X’s Instagram handle and the canceled Yeezy sale were merely coincidental, per Artnet News.
Brahm Wachter, head of streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby’s, stated, “This pair is critical to the development of the Yeezy franchise, which has become one of the most important sneakers and lifestyle brands in history.” He added, “The sneakers set off waves in the sneaker community as people tried to identify the mysterious pair. Afterward, we saw a series of collaborations between Kanye and Nike, and then later the birth of his line with Adidas.” No matter the greatness of the rapper and his hardly-worn shoes, it looks like Christie’s is taking a firm stand akin to Balenciaga, TJ Maxx, and Gap.