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'Sneakerheads' Stake Out SoHo Store for Kanye West Nikes

Chris Ramirez, 25, and Sebastian Lee, 31, said getting the Air Yeezy II will make camping out for a week worth it.
Chris Ramirez, 25, and Sebastian Lee, 31, said getting the Air Yeezy II will make camping out for a week worth it.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

SOHO — When Nike confirmed that sneakers designed by Kanye West would hit select stores Saturday, Bronx resident Chris Ramirez packed his camping gear and took a week's vacation from his job as an ironworker

"This is the most anticipated sneaker of the year and I had to have them," said Ramirez, 25, who is first in line for the shoes outside the Mercer Street Nike store. 

Roughly a dozen diehard sneaker fans began camping out under scaffolding near the SoHo store starting Sunday night for a first shot at buying the limited edition Nike Air Yeezy II.

The $245 shoe named after one of West's monikers has snakeskin print and reptilian spikes along the back, photos and sketches of the shoes show. The Air Yeezy II, which will be sold in black and "platinum" has nods to animals and history, Nike's website said.

"Concealed but opulent details reference ancient civilizations, including a loop strap with hieroglyphics that spell out 'YZY,'" the site continued. "Each screw-on lace aglet is obelisk shaped, and the anaconda texture is echoed on the eyelets and leather lace toggle that carries the Roman numeral II."

Ramirez — who began collecting sneakers at age 14 and has paid as much as $1,500 for a pair — called the shoe by the hip-hop star, tastemaker and Kardashian boyfriend "walking art." 

"A clean pair of sneakers is always a good look," he said, estimating that the Air Yeezy will resell for as much as $1,500. 

A Nike spokesman confirmed that the 21 Mercer St. store will sell the shoe but declined to reveal which other stores will carry it.

Ramirez and friends will stake out the SoHo store regardless of the rainy forecast for the week, sneakerhead Sebastian Lee, 31, said. 

"We're staying, rain or shine, no matter what," he said. 

Sleeping on the street, using the bathroom at Starbucks and eating food from a deli for a week will be worth it for Ramirez once he has the Air Yeezy box in his hands, he said. 

"When you have something you love, you do anything you can for it."