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West sneakers fetch record $1.8M

NEW YORK (AP) — A pair of prototype Nikes worn by Kanye West during his performances of “Hey Mama” and “Stronger” at the Grammy Awards in 2008 has shattered the record for a pair of sneakers ever sold.

Sotheby’s announced today that West’s so-called “Grammy Worn” Nike Air Yeezy 1 fetched $1.8 in a private sale. It was acquired by RARES, a sneaker investment marketplace.

The sale marks the highest publicly recorded price for a sneaker sale and the first pair of sneakers to top $1 million. Sotheby’s brokered the private sale.

The size 12 shoes designed by West and Mark Smith are made of soft black leather with perforated detailing throughout the upper, and the heel overlay is branded with a tonal Swoosh. The design features the iconic Yeezy forefoot strap and signature ‘Y’ medallion lacelocks in bright pink.

The price is nearly triple the auction record for a sneaker set in 2020 at Christie’s for $615,000. That was a pair of ‘85 Jordan 1s that the basketball superstar wore when he famously shattered the backboard during a pre-season game in Italy.

“We are thrilled with the result, which has nearly tripled the highest price on record,“ Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, said in a statement. “The sale speaks volumes of Kanye’s legacy as one of the most influential clothing and sneaker designers of our time, and of the Yeezy franchise he has built which has become an industry titan.”

Fashion designer Alber Elbaz dies

PARIS (AP) — Israeli designer Alber Elbaz, best known for spending 14 years at the helm of France’s Lanvin fashion house, has died at 59, the luxury conglomerate Richemont said Sunday.

A spokesperson for Richemont told CNN that Elbaz died Saturday from COVID-19. Women’s Wear Daily said he died at a Paris hospital.

In a statement, Richemont chairman Johann Rupert said “it was with shock and enormous sadness that I heard of Alber’s sudden passing. Alber had a richly deserved reputation as one of the industry’s brightest and most beloved figures.

“I was always taken by his intelligence, sensitivity, generosity and unbridled creativity. He was a man of exceptional warmth and talent, and his singular vision, sense of beauty and empathy leave an indelible impression,” Rupert said.

The Richemont group paid tribute to Elbaz’s “inclusive vision of fashion” that “made women feel beautiful and comfortable by blending traditional craftsmanship with technology.”

Elbaz started to work in collaboration with Richemont in 2019 with the aim of launching his own label, AZfashion.

Born in Morocco in 1961, Elbaz grew up in Israel before moving to New York in the 1980s.

He first became known to the public when he was named to lead the French house Guy Laroche in Paris in 1996. In 1998, he became creative director at Yves Saint Laurent. He was credited with reviving Lanvin during his long stint there from 2001 to 2015.

French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin paid tribute to Elbaz’ “intelligence, humour and great creativity that changed the fashion world.”

At the helm of Lanvin, the oldest French fashion house, he “wonderfully” met the challenge .

“For 14 years, the visionary genius of Alber Elbaz led Lanvin at the top of international fashion,” she stressed in a statement.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted her “great sadness” at the news, saying Elbaz was “a talented, generous man. He loved Paris so much and will be missed.”

By Patricia Older