Rap superstar Jay-Z has teamed up with sneaker bosses at Nike to create five custom-made pairs of shoes to be auctioned off for charity. The "Empire State of Mind" hitmaker, real name Shawn Carter, helped to kick off Nike's inaugural World Basketball Festival in New York with a performance on its opening night on Thursday, August 12, and the two parties have also collaborated on a special line of the brand's popular Air Force 1 shoes.
Jay-Z came up with five designs for the All Black Everything range, representing each of the five countries taking part in the basketball event, and just two pairs of each creation were made. Trevor Edwards, vice president of Nike's Global Brand and Category Management, says, "We're excited to bring together the international prestige of Jay-Z and the U.S.A. Team on stage at famed Radio City Music Hall to open the first World Basketball Festival."
"This will be a historic night. We're also honored to collaborate with Jay-Z on limited edition Air Force 1's that celebrate the countries participating in this inaugural event."
One complete collection has gone up for sale at auction website eBay.com to benefit the hip-hop star's charity, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, and bids have already topped $1,000 for each of the five lots, which went live on Thursday morning,August 12.
The winning bidders will be in good company - Jay-Z is the only other person in the world to own the All Black Everything sneakers. Teams from the U.S., France, Brazil, China and Puerto Rico will compete in the first ever World Basketball Festival, which runs until August 22.