New York (AFP)

Sotheby's will auction from July 23 a pair of athletic shoes made in the 1960s by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, announcer of the comma brand, and from which it hopes to extract a record sum of one million dollars.

Designed and manufactured for Canadian sprinter Harry Jerome, bronze medalist in the 100m at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, this pair of white lace-up shoes reveals a red arrow on the side, a prelude to what would become the famous "swoosh "from Nike.

Sotheby's - which will put the shoes on sale online from July 23 to August 2 - estimates that they could go for 800,000 to 1.2 million dollars (675,000 to 1 million euros), according to the statement it aired Thursday.

According to the auction house, it is "the highest value ever offered at auction for athletic shoes."

In April, a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 sneakers, worn by rapper Kanye West, shattered all records reaching $ 1.8 million (1.5 million euros), also at Sotheby's.

A sign of the vitality of this market, which has become crucial for traditional auction houses who want to rejuvenate their clientele.

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According to Sotheby's, the athletic shoes adapted by trainer Bill Bowerman, co-founder of Nike with Phil Knight, mark "an important chapter in the origins of the brand", thanks in particular to the innovation represented by their embossed soles. , present in the first "Moon shoes" from Nike.

Among more than fifty lots, the auction house will also be selling a pair of Converse Fastbreak with which American basketball legend Michael Jordan had set foot on the floor during qualifying for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games (price estimated 80,000 to 100,000 dollars), as well as a pair of "Gold shoes" worn and signed by the four-time American Olympic gold medalist (200m, 400m and relay) Michael Johnson (estimated price 30,000 to 50,000 dollars).

© 2021 AFP

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