This auction has a serious footing for the sneaker-obsessed buyer looking for rare kicks.
On Tuesday, Christie’s launched an online sale focused solely on the iconic Air Jordan – a bulky-looking Nike style launched in 1985 for basketball legend Michael Jordan – with over 85 pairs up for grabs. The prizes are estimated between $ 1,000 and $ 160,000 each.
“[Jordan] really influenced and created a whole new kind of collection, ”said Caitlin Donovan, 33, the Christie’s expert leading this sale. “I think it’s a complete look at its impact through the shoes.”
Limited edition kick releases can already fetch top prices in secondary markets, such as StockX. The sale, which lasts until June 30, marks the latest foray of hypebeasts favorite sneakers into the exclusive world of auction houses.
Last summer, Christie’s auctioned 11 pairs of Jordans, including a pair of sneakers that MJ himself wore at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, which sold for $ 112,500. At a private Sotheby’s sale in April, a buyer shelled out $ 1.8 million for the first Yeezy sneakers Kanye West ever wore.
Air Jordans have long been a popular product, especially in the wake of the Emmy-winning 10-part docuseries “The Last Dance”.
“If you think of Jordan’s legacy himself, he was such an important person not only in sports culture, but also in pop culture – and you have that kind of fashion on and off the pitch,” he said. Donovan said.
Celebrities who have worn Air Jordans include Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Drake and even Boyz II Men at the 1996 Grammys.
“There’s also the supply and demand element: the idea that these parts came out in very limited series, so to get one you have to go to the aftermarket,” Donovan added.
The sale is organized in collaboration with Stadium Goods, a New York-based sneaker and streetwear giant, which has sourced the shoes from around the world.
The most expensive lot at the auction: an original size 10 Nike development sample from the mid-1980s, valued at between $ 120,000 and $ 160,000. It is believed to be a one-of-a-kind pair whose seemingly pristine base helped spawn other prominent styles, such as Nike’s Air Python and Air Force 2.
Another lot, this one valued at between $ 22,000 and $ 25,000, offers the lucky bidder a rare pair of red and black Air Jordan 1s made in 1984, a year before the style officially launched. Included with a Nike branded briefcase, this pair was a sample carried by sellers for display in shoe stores. The shoes themselves, although never for sale, have noticeable wear.
“They were probably put in place by store employees and store buyers,” Donovan said.
Another rare pair is the coveted Eminem x Air Jordan 4 “Encore” 2017 – premium styling with a bold blue tint. With an estimated value of between $ 42,000 and $ 45,000, the style debuted in 2005 to celebrate Eminem’s “Encore” album. Only 50 pairs were made available to the rapper’s friends and family. In 2017, the style returned, but in less than half of the original amount.
“This is one of 23 pairs that has not been released to the public, so this pair is even more collectable,” Donovan said.
Other styles from the auction, which interested bidders can see with their own eyes by appointment only, include a 1996 size 16 white top worn and signed by Charles Barkley – estimated between $ 3,000 and $ 5,000.
Similar to works of art or beautiful antiques, these rare kicks fit into a specific mold – and Donovan considers them suitable for auction down the line.
“Sneakers are really following suit, which is why it makes sense that we are stepping in there,” she said.