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Sotheby's Virgil Abloh

Sotheby’s and Louis Vuitton to Auction Off Nike ‘Air Force 1’ Virgil Abloh Sneakers

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Jan. 20 2022, Updated 11:17 a.m. ET

Louis Vuitton and Sotheby’s: two of the luxury world’s most famous names. Now, they’re collaborating for an auction that will pay homage to one of the greatest fashion designers of all time – Virgil Abloh. Sotheby’s will be auctioning off some limited-edition pairs of Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh sneakers, in Louis Vuitton pilot cases. It’s a touching team-up that will do more than just sell some pretty shoes – it will help charity. 

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Sotheby’s Teams up with Louis Vuitton

Sotheby's Virgil Abloh

It’s an auction with a purpose. Virgil Abloh’s death left the fashion world reeling, after the legendary designer passed late last year at the young age of 41. Now, Sotheby’s has teamed up with the company that holds part of Abloh’s legacy – Louis Vuitton – and they’re auctioning off 200 special Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh sneakers that will come in Louis Vuitton pilot cases. 

The sneakers themselves are a simple homage to a designer with anything but a simple approach to fashion. In the instantly recognizable Louis Vuitton browns, they are designed with emblematic Monogram and Damier patterns. These checkered panel shoes will likely hold great meaning to the 200 people lucky enough to grab them up. The Abloh-designed shoes come in sizes 5-18, and starting bids are $2,000. The pilot cases come from the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer Collection 2022 in orange colorway, made of Taurillon leather. Included with the case is a leather luggage tag in the shape of a Nike swoosh. 

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This auction marks the first-ever release of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” created by Virgil Abloh with Louis Vuitton and Nike for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Collection. Before he died, Abloh was involved in arranging the auction, and his family will be involved as it takes place. In addition, several of these unique shoes will be given to individuals who inspired Abloh ahead of the auction. 

Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund

//sothebys louis vuitton auction nike air force  virgil abloh sneakers quote

And in true homage to Abloh, who was a humanist and visionary above all, the proceeds from the auction will go towards a good cause: the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund, according to the designer’s wishes. The Post-Modern Scholarship was created in collaboration with The Fashion Scholarship Fund. 

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The Sotheby’s and Louis Vuitton team shares in a statement, “Launched on a $1 million donation by Virgil Abloh and partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, New Guards Group, and Nike, its mission statement is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent. Virgil Abloh named the fund ‘Post-Modern’ to signify that recipients will receive not only funds but also ongoing career-support services and mentoring through the FSF. ‘Post-Modern’ Scholars are selected each year from FSF’s network of 66+ colleges and universities across the U.S., including eight HBCUs, through the annual FSF Scholarship Competition.”

Even though he’s gone, Abloh’s legacy of forward-thinking fashion and pushing the human experience to grow and evolve has been left behind. And with the scholarship, Abloh will be able to help new generations of artists slip on his big shoes and do the work he couldn’t live to see finished. 

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Sotheby’s in the News

Diamond

Sotheby’s is always in the news, but this week they were making moves in outer space. To be more accurate, the moves came down to Earth from outer space. Sotheby’s is auctioning off a 555.55-carat black diamond that is believed to have come from outer space, and you have to see it to believe it.

This massive black gem is called The Enigma and could fetch around $7 million going off comparable sales. 

CNN reports, “Black diamonds, also known as Carbonado diamonds, can be dated to between 2.6 to 3.8 billion years ago and have trace amounts of nitrogen and hydrogen — elements found in interstellar space. They also contain osbornite, a mineral present in meteorites.

Nikita Binani, a jewelry specialist at Sotheby’s in London, called the diamond ‘a true natural phenomenon.’

‘Its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the rarest, billion-year-old cosmic wonders known to humankind,’ she said in press release Monday.”

The shape of the gem was chosen as an homage to a Middle eastern palm symbol called a Hamsa, which is a sign of protection meaning “five.” Sotheby’s explains that the theme of five runs throughout the gem; both in its size of 555.55-carats as well as the fact that it has 55 facets. 

Bidding opens February 3 through 9, and they will be accepting cryptocurrency as part of the auction house’s new shift into the digital realm. 

Back on earth, the “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh shoes will be on display at a public exhibition at Sotheby’s New York house January 19- February 8, so the public can lay their eyes on these soon-to-be historic kicks. 

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