After being up for bids for two weeks, the auction of 200 pairs of the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Lows has concluded with a record-breaking sale. With more than 1,200 bidders from over 50 countries, it has set the benchmark for the “highest known public records for most valuable sneaker and fashion auctions ever staged.” The announcement was made by the auction house Sotheby’s, which stated that the highest price a pair of sneakers was sold for was US $352,800. The men’s Size 5 shoe was the only one produced in that size and so its sale, combined with that of the other pairs brought the grand total of the auction to an eye-watering amount of $25.3 million.
The coveted sneakers were conceptualized by late designer Virgil Abloh who served as the artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear before he passed away from a rare form of cancer in November 2021. The auction took off on January 26, a week after the presentation of Abloh’s last collection for the French fashion house in Paris, and greatly exceeded Sotheby’s predictions. It had started the bidding at $2,000 a pair and had estimated that they would sell for between $5,000 and $15,000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, supports the education of academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.
Marked with Louis Vuitton’s signature monogram and Damier patterns, the special-edition sneakers are entirely made in precious calf leather with natural cowhide piping. Each pair was sold with an auction-exclusive Louis Vuitton pilot case from the house’s Spring-Summer 2022 collection. Reinterpreted from the house’s archives, the case has been rendered in bright orange with Louis Vuitton’s classic S lock closure in white, with a Nike Swoosh-shaped luggage tag, and can adapt to every shoe size due to an internal cushion system.
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