Press Release

Sotheby’s Presents its First Sneaker Sale in Asia: Cult Canvas

Hong Kong
The Second Iteration of the Series Dedicated to Ultra-Rare Sneakers to Appreciate Sneakers as Works of Art and Celebrate the Creative Process Behind Their Production
Nike Dunk SB Low ‘Yellow Lobster’, Image courtesy of @applied.arts.nyc

Leading the Sale:

Iconic Designs From Nike

The “Yellow Lobster” Sample: A highly scarce edition from the Boston-inspired Series
The “Freddy Krueger” Prototype: Tribute to the villain from the “Nightmare on Elm Street” film franchise

Two Ultra-Rare Kanye West Limited Edition Sneakers

“Kanye West Huarache 08”: Made in Commemoration of his “Glow in The Dark Tour” – One of just a few samples known to exist
“Pastelle”: The only known prototype from Kanye’s own & first label – Marking the Genesis of his exploration into the fashion world

Online bidding opens from 7 – 21 Oct
Auction Preview:
K11 MUSEA 18 – 21 Sep
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre 7 – 12 Oct



Hong Kong, 16 September 2021 – As the sequel to the highly successful sale in New York last September, Sotheby’s is excited to present the second iteration of Cult Canvas, an online sale series dedicated to ultra-rare, sample and prototype sneakers, in Hong Kong this October. This will mark Sotheby’s first dedicated sneakers auction in Asia, where 9 pairs of sneakers are opened for online bidding from 7 – 21 October. The sale is curated by Ryan Chang, Founder and Chief Curator of Applied Arts [@applied.arts.nyc] – a media company that celebrates sneakers as fine-art objects.

This highly curated offering marks Sotheby's first dedicated sneaker sale in Hong Kong, as Sotheby's continue to grow its presence in the collectable sneakers and streetwear space globally. This Fall alone, Sotheby's will have created exhibitions and auctions of the category in San Francisco, New York, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Our sneaker business has more than tripled since our launch in 2019, and we average 55% new clients with each sale.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear & Modern Collectables

Auction Highlights

Nike Dunk SB Low ‘Yellow Lobster’ Sample
Est.: HK$310,000 – 390,000/ US$40,000 – 50,000

From the series inspired by the traditional Boston lobster dinner experience, Nike and CNCPTS collaboration on the Yellow Lobster was intended to create incredible scarcity. The sneakers were not found at retail and only given to friends and family of the brand surrounding the release of the ‘Blue Lobster’ Dunk. It is said that only 36 pairs were made. As explained by NIKE, the chances of finding a yellow lobster from a Maine lobster trap are roughly one in forty million – the odds of finding the Yellow Lobster Dunk Low Pro SB are also a rare anomaly, making them an incredible find for sneakerheads globally.

Nike Dunk SB Low ‘Freddy Krueger’ Prototype
Est.: HK$310,000 – 390,000/ US$40,000 – 50,000

Paying tribute to Freddy Krueger, the villain in the Nightmare on Elm Street film franchise, the sneaker cleverly incorporates the most distinctive features of the character into the design, including the striped sweater pattern throughout the base of the sneaker with blood splatters over the beige leather overlays. The Swoosh is to echo with the blades on Freddy’s leather gloves. While the sneaker itself was never released to the public, still a small number of Dunks made it out. There are three models in the market: the sample of the original release, the original release, and a prototype version featuring a wider striped pattern (offered here). This is arguably the most desirable and rare of the three coveted variations.

Nike Kanye West Huarache 08 ‘Glow in the Dark Tour’ Sample
Est.: HK$310,000 – 390,000/ US$40,000 – 50,000

Kanye West, now known as ‘Ye’ is among the most influential rappers, designers, and artists alive today. Offered here is a pair of one of the rarest Kanye West samples known to exist, the ‘Glow in the Dark Tour’ Huarache. It is rumoured that only 5 pairs were created. The sneakers were made by Nike in commemoration of Kanye West, with colors representative of his neon-inspired concerts in the late 2000s.

Kanye West Pastelle Prototype
Est.: HK$310,000 – 390,000/ US$40,000 – 50,000

Pastelle was one of Kanye West’s first forays into fashion, where the name itself stood for “The Past Tells Everything.” In 2008, West attended the American Music Awards in a cobalt blue jacket with “Pastelle” in yellow across the back. Although Pastelle has not come to be a mainstream brand, the work Kanye produced would mark a moment in his exploration into the fashion world. Offered in the sale is a unique sneaker from Pastelle – the only one known to Sotheby’s – and is a prototype produced in June of 2009 for what would be “Season: Fall 10.” The sneaker was given to model Gio Mitchell, when he modelled a shoot for West. There are noticeable differences within this sample pair. The soles are different on the right and left shoes, with the left having a grey colour and the right a beige. Additionally, the right sneaker has the phrase “The Past Tells Everything” written on sole.

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