Sotheby’s has begun bidding on what will be the most expensive shoe ever sold at auction: a pair of Michael Jordan’s Nike Air Ships. The current bid is 1.1 million dollars, with a sale estimated to be 1.5 million dollars.
The sneakers are accompanied by a Letter of Provenance from their owner, Mr. Tommie Tim III Lewis, who was given the shoes by Michael Jordan, according to the British auction house. MEARS Authentication, LLC’s Letter of Opinion on Game Use validates the validity.
The Nike Air Ship is a key aspect of sneaker history and the original Air Jordan’s design legacy.
Nike provided Michael Jordan his own signature brand of shoes and clothing in 1984, which influenced Michael’s decision to sign with Nike.
It was the brand’s first large-scale collaboration with an athlete, laying the path for many of the player collaborations we see today.
Setting new benchmarks
The current auction record for a pair of sneakers is 615,000 USD, set by Christie’s in August 2020, and also worn by Jordan in a friendly match on August 25, 1985 in Trieste as part of a Nike promotional tour.
Christie’s shattered the previous record set by Sotheyb’s just three years prior with this transaction.
Sotheby’s sold a pair of autographed Air Jordan 1s for a record 560,000 dollars in May 2020, following the success of the blockbuster docu-series “The Last Dance.”
Following the broadcast of the documentary, sales of practically all merchandise affiliated with the six-time NBA champion reached all-time highs.
What makes you so unique?
The National Basketball Association (NBA) of America addressed a letter to Nike in October 1984, informing them that Jordan’s colorful shoes violated the league’s conformity of uniform provision.
Nike replied by developing an infamous ad campaign centered on Jordan’s ‘banned’ sneakers (promoting the original Air Jordans), stating that “the NBA threw them out of the game, but the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.”
The auction will take place on Sothebys.com on October 24th. Bidding is presently open and has reached 1.1 million dollars as of this writing.