An auction of 200 pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers created by late American designer Virgil Abloh have fetched a total of $25m, Sotheby’s said.
The most paid for one of the pairs was more than $350,000 – size 5 – during an online sale that ran from 26 January 26 to 8 February, the auction house said on Wednesday.
The sums greatly exceed the initial estimates of Sotheby’s, which had started the bidding at $2,000 per pair and had predicted they would sell for between $5,000 and $15,000 each.
In the end, the sneakers, which ranged in size from five to 18, averaged more than $100,000 per shoe. The cheapest sold for just over $75,000.
The special edition shoes, made of calf leather, were originally created for Louis Vuitton’s 2022 spring-summer men’s collection, of which Abloh was artistic director.
Abloh, a multi-talented DJ, architect and designer died in November at the age of 41 following a private battle with cancer.
The brown, white and cream-colored sneakers boast Nike’s famous swoosh logo, Louis Vuitton’s recognizable monogram and damier motifs.
They were created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nike Air Force 1, which was designed in 1982.
Proceeds from the sale will benefit a scholarship fund set up by Virgil Abloh that supports aspiring designers of Black, African-American, or African descent.