An unprecedented operation!
The sale of 200 lots of Vuitton-Nike sneakers designed by Virgil Abloh shortly before his death exceeded 25 million dollars (about 22 million euros) at Sotheby's.
The auction house expected to see each pair go for an amount between 5,000 and 15,000 dollars (between 4,400 and 13,100 euros), and had started each auction at 2,000 dollars (1,700 euros).
In the end, one of the pairs was bought for 352,800 dollars (309,000 euros) and, on average, each lot was awarded for sums exceeding 100,000 dollars (87,500 euros).
Organized exclusively online, this auction started on January 26.
"From the moment the auctions were launched, there was an electric energy" and "we broke the record for the largest number of offers for a first day of online sales", explained Brahm Watcher, head of the streetwear and modern collectibles at Sotheby's, quoted in the press release announcing the result.
Popular among young people, able to make the synthesis between luxury and streetwear, Virgil Abloh died on November 28 of cancer, at the age of 41, leaving the fashion world in shock.
Profits donated to a scholarship for students
According to Sotheby's, Louis Vuitton and Nike, the American had participated in the organization of the sale of the sneakers before his death.
Proceeds will be donated to the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund, a scholarship supporting the education of students of African American and African descent.
The 200 identical pairs of “Air Force 1” – a model which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – in brown, white and cream colors and featuring the famous checkerboard and logo of Louis Vuitton, property of LVMH, and the comma of Nike, were sold separately.
Half of buyers are under 40
The most expensive pair, a size 5 (36 in Europe), fetched $352,800, a record for a pair of Air Force Ones in this type of sale, according to Sotheby's.
Each bundle also included an orange Pilot briefcase bag.
More than 1,200 potential buyers from more than 50 countries participated in the auction.
More than half of those who won the lots are under 40 years old and collectors from Asia represent 40% of end buyers.
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