Sneakers from the designer’s Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 collaboration went to auction, raking in $350,000 for a single pair

When LVMH announced the sudden passing of Virgil Abloh on November 28 last year, timelines and news outlets were awash with tributes from the worlds of fashion, music, art, and architecture. Others, meanwhile, went on the hunt for the boundary-breaking designer’s most definitive creations, with resale sites like The RealReal witnessing a 344 per cent surge in searches for Louis Vuitton and an 893 per cent increase in those for Off-White

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It should come as little surprise, then, that an auction of Abloh’s Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers have fetched a total of $25 million. The collaboration first debuted during the maison’s SS22 show and a Sotheby’s sale of 200 pairs ran from January 26 to February 9. With the highest bid coming in at $350,000 for a size five, the proceeds far outweighed the auction house’s initial estimates, which predicted each shoe selling for between $5,000 and $15,000. The cheapest sold for just over $75,000.

The monogrammed sneakers were originally designed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nike Air Force 1, a style that Abloh had played with throughout his career, namely with The Ten capsule. With many platforms facing due criticism for seemingly profiting off Abloh’s legacy, funds from Sotheby’s sale will benefit a scholarship set up by the designer that supports aspiring designers of Black, African-American, or African descent. Elsewhere, Off-White this week announced it would be opening the AW22 edition of Paris Fashion Week with a commemorative show, and the Brooklyn museum unveiled plans to launch the first posthumous retrospective of the designer’s work.