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Nike ‘Air Force 1’ Sneakers Fly By Estimate

February 11, 2022

Virgil Abloh was an American fashion designer, and in 2018 he became the artistic director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection. He was a rising star, and Time Magazine named him one of the most influential people in 2018. Tragically, in 2019 Abloh was diagnosed with cardia angiosarcoma, a type of cancer, and passed away at the young age of 41 in 2021. This week, an online auction at Sotheby’s came to a close; it featured 200 pairs of Nike’s ‘Air Force 1’ sneakers designed by Abloh, created in a collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Nike.

nike louis vuitton sneakers on orange case

Nike Air Force 1

The Nike ‘Air Force 1’ was designed in 1982 by Bruce Kilgore and was the first basketball shoe to feature Nike’s Air Technology, which brought a soft, springy bounce to the game. Since that time, Nike has collaborated with many designers, one of whom was Abloh. His first partnership with Nike was in 2017 when he redesigned several sneakers; he maintained the original structure but updated them with his style.

Before Abloh passed away, he collaborated with Nike, once again, to create the Nike x Louis Vuitton “Air Force 1” for the Spring-Summer 2022 Men’s Collection. The sneakers are easily recognizable as they were constructed in Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram canvas  and Azur pattern. Each pair was presented with an exclusive Louis Vuitton pilot case made from orange taurillon monogrammed leather. The sneakers varied in size from 5 – 18, with each lot carrying an identical $5 – 15K estimate, but the final bids had a far greater range. The LEAST expensive pair, a size 6.5, sold for just $60K ($75.6K w/p)…WOW! And the most expensive lot, which happened to be the first lot and a size 5, sold for a phenomenal $280K ($352.8K w/p). While this impressive winning bid is not a record price for a pair of Nike’s (that honor belongs to Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy Grammy prototypes from 2008 which sold in April of 2021 for $1.8M), the auction total did set a record. The overall sale was estimated to make between $1 – 3M, and when the timer hit zeroes, the collection made $25.3M (w/p).

Also of note is that the proceeds from the sale will go to the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, a charity established by Abloh in 2020 to provide scholarships within the fashion industry for the next generation of Black fashion industry leaders.

Source: Virgil Abloh’s Couture Kicks Bring in Massive Haul for Charity (msn.com)