Reach for the Sky: 200 pairs of Virgil Abloh’s LV Nike Air Force 1 Sneaker sold Well at Auction, with One Going for $352k - Arts & Culture

Ten other pairs went to six figures in Sotheby’s February 9 event.

Sotheby’s February 9 auction featuring the Louis Vuitton-Nike collaboration sneaker designed by the late Virgil Abloh did exceedingly well, with several lots going six figures.

READ ALSO: Gone Too Soon: Virgil Abloh, Menswear’s Biggest Star, Passes Away At 41

A total of 200 pairs were sold during the auction, with the most expensive bid going to the lone size 5 pair that closed at $352,800. While this is below the record for most expensive sneakers that have gone under the hammer—Kanye West’s Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype, which sold for $1.8 million—the day all in all was a rousing success. Ten other pairs went for six figures, ranging from $107,100 to $176,400.

A favorite among sneakerheads, the Nike Air Force 1 is celebrating 40years in 2022. According to the catalogue description, this collaboration was initiated by Abloh on the occasion of the luxury maison’s Men’s Spring-Summer 2022 runway show. The designer, who passed away last November, designed 47 pairs of bespoke Air Force 1s, “fusing the trainer’s classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton in homage to the hip-hop culture that shaped him.”

The materials used in the sneaker mirrored that of Abloh’s SS 2022 line, which also showed his signature quotation marks. These pairs were created in Fiesso d’Artico, in Louis Vuitton’s shoe manufacture.

“The sneakers, entirely made in leather, are embellished with Louis Vuitton’s emblematic Monogram and Damier patterns with natural cowhide piping,” the catalogue describes. “Each pair will be sold with a Louis Vuitton pilot case, also from the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 collection, which was reinterpreted from the Maison’s archive in an iconic orange colorway and made of Monogram Taurillon Leather.”

The pilot case itself is quite striking, featuring the maison’s S lock in white metal, a Nike Swoosh luggage tag, and an internal cushion system.  

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In line with the late designer’s wishes, 100 percent of the hammer price will be donated to the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund. In partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, this goes to the education of academically promising black, African American, or African students.


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