The most expensive of these “Air Force 1”, all identical, sold for more than 350,000 euros.
More than 100,000 dollars per pair on average, and more than 350,000 for the most expensive: the auction of 200 pairs of Louis Vuitton-Nike sneakers designed by the deceased American designer Virgil Abloh totaled more than 25 million dollars, announced Sotheby’s Wednesday.
These figures greatly exceed the first estimates of the auction house, which bet on a range of 5,000 to 15,000 dollars per pair, and had started each auction at 2,000 dollars. The 200 identical pairs of “Air Force 1” – a model that celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2022 – in brown, white and cream colors and featuring the famous checkerboard patterns of Louis Vuitton, owned by LVMH, and the comma from Nike, had been sold online since January 26. The end of the sale was scheduled for Tuesday but was pushed back a day in the face of the influx of bidders. The most expensive pair, a size 5 (36 in Europe), sold for $352,800.
Death in November of Virgil Abloh
The sneakers were presented in June 2021, for Louis Vuitton’s spring summer 2022 collection, of which Virgil Abloh, king of luxury streetwear, was the “men’s” artistic director. The stylist, DJ, fan of hip-hop and former adviser to rapper Kanye West, died at the end of November at the age of 41 from cancer. His latest collection for Vuitton was presented in Paris on January 20, during men’s ready-to-wear week. Each bundle also included an orange Pilote bag.
For years, sneakers have become collector’s items that can sometimes be snapped up for tens of thousands of dollars. To give themselves a facelift and expand their clientele, the big names in luxury have become accustomed to creating collections in partnership with sports or streetwear brands.
Sotheby’s, Louis Vuitton and Nike had indicated that Virgil Abloh had participated in the organization of the sale before his death, the profits of which will be donated to the “Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund”, a scholarship supporting the training of students from African American and African descent.