#Roommates, earlier this week sneakerheads went crazy when it was announced that Kanye West’s 2008 Nike Air Yeezy sneakers made history by becoming the most expensive sneakers of all-time after selling for a whopping $1.8 million! Well, we decided to do some digging into the company that purchased the iconic shoes, RARES, and caught up with the company’s CEO & co-founder Gerome Sapp to find out more.
When we asked Gerome what prompted his decision to purchase the 2008 Air Yeezy prototypes specifically, he explained that it was a combination of being a life-long sneakerhead, as well as a personal decision. “The Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype not only means a lot to the sneaker culture, but it meant a lot to me personally. I retired from the NFL in 2008 and was wondering what was next with my life. When I saw Kanye and Nike unveil these sneakers at the 2008 Grammys, aside from being dope, they represented a new age of independence, a beginning of something bigger to come. That is exactly what RARES represents to my team and I now. So when the opportunity was presented to acquire this all-time favorite grail, I hopped on it. I felt that this 1 of 1 grail didn’t belong in a museum or a museum environment, it needed to be securitized and split into affordable shares so that anyone who loved these sneakers and the culture around what made these sneakers hot, could invest in them. One equity share at a time,” he said.
Now that his company RARES has officially become part of sneaker history, we asked Gerome what will happen to the Yeezy’s now that they’ve been sold—and he told us he has big plans:
“On June 16th RARES will open up an IPO for the sneakers in the App and online. That means individuals will be able to purchase equity shares in the sneaker for as little as $15 -$25 a share. Once the shares are all purchased, the IPO closes and secondary trading of the shares begins!
We plan to eventually display them in various culture hub cities in the USA. Chicago, the home of Kanye West, being one of them. So that the culture can see and loosely interact with this historic item and feel confident in knowing their collective influence. Users can go download the RARES IOS app (Rares App) or check it out online at https://rares.io/ and sign up for the Yeezy 1 IPO.”
As for the lingering question regarding Kanye being behind the purchase of the shoes, Gerome set the record straight saying, “No Kanye has no affiliation or involvement in the acquisition of this sneaker. However, I’d love to meet Kanye and thank him for what he’s done for the culture of music and fashion.”
He revealed that RARES has also acquired another pair of Kanye’s shoes from the Yeezy brand…the legendary Red Octobers.
Gerome Sapp further discussed his motivation to create RARES, which dates back to his Houston, Texas upbringing:
“I created RARES, which is the world’s first of its kind sneaker investment marketplace that allows users to invest in fractional ownership in collectible sneakers by buying and trading real SEC qualified shares in them. Most people have no clue that certain collectible sneakers are a thriving alternative asset class that [have] literally outperformed GOLD, The S&P 500, and other top performing securities in regard to rates of return on investment.
I’m from the culture and grew up in the culture. We are the reason these sneakers are so popular and so expensive. Our culture created this value! But many marginalized communities are now priced out of being able to purchase these sneakers, so RARES created a way to own fractional shares in these sneakers for as little as $15 a share. So if the value of the sneaker appreciates, theoretically so do the values of the shares you own in the sneaker.”
RARES is always on the hunt for the “rarest” sneakers on earth and he assured us that big plans are in store for what’s coming next!
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