Sale of 200 pairs of Virgil Abloh sneakers hits record $25 million


Sara Spary, CNN

Sotheby’s sold 200 pairs of sneakers designed by the late Virgil Abloh for a “record” collective $25.3 million, the auction house announced on Wednesday, more than eight times the original estimate of $3 million. .

The special edition Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” sneakers were designed for Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2022 release, Sotheby’s said in a press release.

The auction marked the first time the sneakers were offered for sale, Sotheby’s said. A spokesperson told CNN on Thursday that, as a collection, the sneakers achieved “a total auction record” for fashion.

Individual pairs of sneakers, however, commanded a higher price. This includes a pair of Nike Air Ships worn by basketball star Michael Jordan, which sold for $1.47 million in October.

Abloh, who was artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear – and the fashion house’s first black artistic director – died in November at the age of 41 after privately battling a rare form of Cancer.

Shoe sizes ranged from 5 to 18, with the size 5 pair fetching the highest price, at $352,800, more than 23 times its high estimate of $15,000.

Sotheby’s said it received 10,000 bids in total, 40% of which came from Asia. More than two-thirds of the bidders were under 40 years old.

Each pair was sold with an orange Louis Vuitton carrying case made from taurillon leather and reinterpreted from earlier models in the fashion house’s archives.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, a charity established to support the education of promising students of Black, African American and African descent, the auction house added. .

Abloh had been involved in the early organization of the auction before his death, Sotheby’s said.

Charles F. Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, said in a statement that the “record-breaking” auction, which saw “unprecedented global attendance”, was testament to Abloh’s legacy as “one of most visionary artists and designers of his generation whose widespread influence and impact are still palpable.

In addition to being a fashion designer at Louis Vuitton, Abloh founded the Off-White label. He was also a DJ and former creative director of design agency Donda, owned by Kanye West, now known as Ye.

At Louis Vuitton, he was credited with bringing a younger demographic appeal to the brand and blurring the lines between high fashion and streetwear.

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