Original Air takes flight: The largest sneaker auction ever held at Christie's
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, July 21, 2024

Original Air takes flight: The largest sneaker auction ever held at Christie's
Air Jordan 1 High “Black/Red,” Original Salesman Sample NIKE, 1984. 9 High-Top. $22,000-25,000 | £16,000-18,000 | €18,000-20,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie's and Stadium Goods announced their second partnered online auction: Original Air Takes Flight: The Evolution and Influence of Air Jordan Sneakers. Early highlights are available to browse in the dedicated online viewing room beginning June 2 with full sale live on Christies.com beginning June 4. The full selection will be exhibited at Christie’s New York from June 4-9 followed by an additional viewing of select highlights from June 9-30. The sale is open for bidding from June 22-30.

Arguably the most influential athlete of all time, Michael Jordan carries a legacy that still resonates both on and off the court. With 90 pairs of sneakers, "Original Air Part II" features a comprehensive look at Jordan's impact through footwear, featuring game-worn sneakers, samples and prototypes from the Air Jordan brand's beginnings, rare exclusives, and pairs worn by Jordan's teammates and competitors. Beginning with his game-changing Rookie of Year season, through multiple championships, pop culture crossover, and on to his continuing impact via projects like “The Last Dance” and his mentorship of Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan continues to exert an indelible imprint on sport, fashion, and pop culture. This auction captures the essence of that legacy through a comprehensive offering of historic footwear memorabilia.

The offering begins with early development prototypes and sample pairs that were critical in shaping the “DNA” of the Air Jordan brand. The collection is led by a selection of rare and pristine original 1985 Air Jordan 1s, including the mythical 1985 Air Jordan 1 Metallics, and for the first-time ever, a complete set of original Air Jordans 1-14. Rare Jordan brand samples from more recent years such as the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” in a Lunar Wedge format, and a 1-of-1 Air Jordan 4 in white with black mesh complete the overview of Jordan Brands roots.

Pairs exclusive to and worn by Michael Jordan himself such as the Air Jordan 11 “Concord,” Air Jordan 12 “Taxi,” Air Jordan 13 “He Got Game,” and Air Jordan 17 comprise another section of the auction. Pairs worn and autographed by his teammates (BJ Armstrong), and competitors (Charles Barkley), and even a pair worn by Jordan on the golf course (an all-white Air Jordan 11) add more dimensions to the overall Jordan Brand story, alongside a handful of rare player exclusives and samples created for prominent universities (UNC, Michigan, Georgetown), ranging from the early Air Jordan 1 model to the Air Jordan 22.

Original Air Part II also offers a selection of items from other professional athletes across multiple sports, some of whom were on Team Jordan themselves, including Derek Jeter, Russell Westbrook, Ray Allen, and Jimmy Butler. The direct impact Jordan had on younger star players entering the league is undeniable, and Original Air offers a handful of pairs from those who modeled not only their game but also their personal sneaker style after Jordan, such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Over the years Jordan Brand expanded its imprint with high profile collaborations with musicians like Eminem and Drake. Original Air Part II includes several rare samples from those partnerships, as well as highly coveted and scarce commemorative releases such as the “Friends and Family” exclusive Air Jordan Kobe 3 + 8 Pack, the Air Jordan 1 “Colette,” the Air Jordan 16 “Veterans Day” and “Board of Governors,” and an Air Jordan 7 “Hare” sample featuring rare crocodile-textured panels.

From rare early samples and originals, to iconic pop culture and commemorative special releases, Original Air Part II offers something for everyone and anyone passionate about the journey of Michael Jordan and his footwear legacy.

Air Jordan 1/2, Development Sample
NIKE, 1985-86
Size 10, High-Top
$120,000-160,000 | £85,000-110,000 | €98,000-130,000

This incredible one-of-a-kind piece of Air Jordan sneaker history is a development sample of the Air Jordan 2 from 1985/86. This pair was created early in the design process of Michael Jordan's second signature shoe, which was released in 1986. The Air Jordan 2 would ultimately look almost nothing like this sample, which indicates that this was likely one of the very first iterations physically created of the Jordan 2 design. This is thought to be the only pair of this particular Air Jordan 2 development sample in existence. The released Air Jordan 2 was designed by Nike designers Peter Moore and Bruce Kilgore, so it is assumed that they also worked on this early sample. The sole unit for this sample utilizes the sole of the Nike Air Force 2 from 1986, the second iteration of the famous Air Force 1. The finished Air Jordan 2 sole is similar in shape and height to this Air Force 2 sole. The design of the leather ankle panels at the collar are very similar in appearance to the same area of the Air Jordan 1, a fact that further illustrates how early in the design process for the Jordan 2 this sample must have been. Although quite primitive in appearance, this is an exceptionally singular piece of Air Jordan history.

Air Jordan 1 High “Black/Red,” Original Salesman Sample NIKE, 1984
9 High-Top
$22,000-25,000 | £16,000-18,000 | €18,000-20,000

The “rookie card” of Air Jordan 1s. Not just any original pair of the Air Jordan 1 Highs in the iconic black-and-red or “Bred” colorway, this incredibly rare pair is a salesman’s sample of the Air Jordan 1, intended to be used by a Nike rep to sell Michael Jordan’s first signature shoe to sporting goods and footwear stores in 1985. Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when a retailer would have to be convinced to carry Air Jordans. From one of the earliest production runs of the Jordan 1, this pair was assembled in 1984, as denoted by the production code on the inner collar of the shoe that begins with “84.” Pairs of the Air Jordan 1 sold at retail have a production code that begins with “85.” The full code on this pair reads “841201-TYSS,” with “SS” denoting that it is a pre-production “Salesman Sample.” The pair comes with an equally rare vintage brown leather Nike-branded briefcase, as well as a vintage Nike catalog from 1985 that includes the Air Jordan 1. While it has not been definitively determined that these items accompanied this specific sample shoe, the briefcase comes from one of the brand’s earliest "EKINs" (Nike spelled backwards) a product specialist who toured the country educating retailers and consumers about Nike products. This pair is a sample size men’s 9, and is in lightly worn condition, as it may have been tried on by employees and customers at various sporting goods stores in 1985.

Air Jordan 1-14 Complete Set of Originals
NIKE, 1985-1998
$50,000-70,000 | £36,000-49,000 | €41,000-57,000

1. Air Jordan 1 High “Carolina,” NIKE, 1985
2. Air Jordan 2 High “White/Red,” Signed, NIKE, 1986
3. Air Jordan 3 “Black/Cement,” NIKE, 1988
4. Air Jordan 4 “Military Blue,” NIKE, 1989
5. Air Jordan 5 “Grape,” NIKE, 1990
6. Air Jordan 6 “White/Infrared,” Signed, NIKE, 1991
7. Air Jordan 7 “Cardinal,” NIKE, 1992
8. Air Jordan 8 “Bugs Bunny,” NIKE, 1993
9. Air Jordan 9 “White/Black/True Red,” NIKE, 1994
10. Air Jordan 10 “Chicago,” NIKE, 1995
11. Air Jordan 11 “Concord,” NIKE, 1996
12. Air Jordan 12 “Taxi,” NIKE, 1997
13. Air Jordan 13 “Bred,” NIKE 1998
14. Air Jordan 14 “White/Varsity Red”, NIKE 1998

No era or collection of sneakers is more heralded than the original fourteen Air Jordan models produced during Michael Jordan’s career with the Chicago Bulls. Although many Air Jordans have been released since Jordan played his final game with the Bulls in 1998, none come close to the level of mystique and desirability of the “original” fourteen.

For the first time ever, a set of original Air Jordans 1-14—each from their respective initial release year—has been assembled for auction. Now is your chance to own the single greatest and most influential collection of sneakers of all time.

Zoom Kobe 1 Protro “Undefeated,” Kobe Bryant
Player Exclusive
NIKE, 2018
Size 14, High-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box.
$6,000-8,000 | £4,300-5,600 | €4,900-6,500

This is a rare Undefeated x Nike Zoom Kobe 1 Protro Player Exclusive for Kobe Bryant. In 2018, renowned Los Angeles based sneaker boutique Undefeated teamed up with Nike for a special pack of the Kobe 1 Protro in camouflage colorways. The set included four versions in green, red, orange, and yellow camo patterns. The latter in yellow was inspired by the Los Angeles Lakers team colors and was debuted by LeBron James on social media shortly after he signed with the team in 2018. This particular pair was created specifically for Kobe Bryant in his size 14. The late Bryant, regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever, is also known for being one of Michael Jordan’s greatest students. His playing style, and even his sneaker line, took cues from His Airness, although he certainly created his own lasting legacy in both the basketball and sneaker worlds. While all four colorways of the Undefeated collaboration were released in limited quantities to the public, this was from the initial production of the model created just for a select group of NBA players including Devin Booker, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, and James. Bryant was already retired at the time, so he never wore this pair in a game and it remains in unworn condition. This is a rare chance to own a late piece of Kobe Bryant sneaker history.

Drake X Air Jordan 4 “OVO,” Sample
NIKE, 2017
Size 12, High-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box.
$14,000-16,000 | £9,900-11,000 | €12,000-13,000

Drake, the world famous, multi-platinum, Grammy-winning rapper and singer is one of the biggest non-athlete names to ever collaborate with Jordan Brand. This is a very rare Air Jordan 4 “OVO” sample for Drake, which was never released to the public. Similar to the iconic original “Bred” colorway of the Jordan 4, this edition features white and red speckle detailing. The colorway is actually inspired by a rarely seen unreleased sample version of the model from 1989 that featured similar speckling. Unique details added to Drake’s special edition include his “OVO,” or “October’s Very Own,” label’s owl logo hidden on the inner side of the heel tab printed in metallic gold, as well as additional “OVO” and “6 God” graphics underneath the insoles. This Air Jordan 4 produced for Drake was created in extremely limited quantities and presumably given to his friends and family.

Air Jordan 1 High "Colette,"
Friends & Family Exclusive
NIKE, 2017
Size 7.5, High-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box.
$12,000-15,000 | £8,500-11,000 | €9,800-12,000

This rare Air Jordan 1 High was created in extremely limited quantities to commemorate the closing of Colette, the revered Parisian boutique that shuttered its doors in 2017 after 20 years in business. The influential retailer was known for stocking a high-end selection of sneakers, streetwear, high fashion, and accessories, and it was a shock to many when the business closed in 2017.

This special edition Jordan 1 High was never released at retail and was produced in a limited number in collaboration with Colette to be given to friends and family of the brand. The design features the retailer’s signature royal blue and white color palette in a premium leather construction. Colette’s double circle logo is found on the back heel of each shoe, while its opening and closing years of 1997 and 2017 are stamped on the left and right sides, respectively. “Bonjour” and “Au Revoir” text is also found beneath the clear rubber outsoles on opposite feet to complete the clean design.

Eminem X Air Jordan 4 “ENCORE,”
Friends & Family Exclusive
NIKE, 2017
Size 13, High-Top
$42,000-45,000 | £30,000-32,000 | €35,000-37,000

For Air Jordan collectors, the Eminem x Air Jordan 4 “Encore” is one of the rarest, most desirable sneakers in existence. A rumored 50 pairs were made available to the Detroit rapper’s friends and family in celebration of his seminal “Encore” album in 2005. In 2017, the mythical shoe was brought back, in even more limited quantities, once again for friends and family. This is one of the 23 pairs that went unreleased to the general public. A near one-to-one of the first “Encore” from 2005, this 2017 version features a slightly lighter shade of grey on the heel tab and triangular “wings” lace holders, but remains nearly identical to the “OG” in every other aspect. A plush blue suede covers the entire upper, save for the black netting on the tongue and mid-panel. A red Jumpman appears on the black nylon tongue tag and on the back of the shoe. “ENCORE” stylized with a backwards “E” in reference to Eminem’s album name is embroidered in red lettering on the inside of the heel tab on the collar.

Air Jordan 1 Low "Metallic Blue"
NIKE, 1985
Size 7, Low-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box and Hangtag.
$12,000-15,000 | £8,500-11,000 | €9,800-12,000

The Air Jordan 1 Low “Metallic Blue” is one of only three colorways of the original low-top version of the Jordan 1 released in 1985-86. Famous in its standard high-top version, the Air Jordan 1 was also produced in lower quantities and fewer color options in this low-rise edition. The design of this colorway features a white leather base with metallic navy blue accents for the side Swooshes and heel tab.

Air Jordan 1 “UNC,” Player Exclusive
NIKE, 2020
Size 15, High-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box.
$8,000-10,000 | £5,700-7,100 | €6,600-8,200

Michael Jordan’s alma mater, the University of North Carolina, has been the inspiration for some of the greatest Air Jordans ever. Most have been released to the public. Some, like this Jordan 1 High in “UNC” colors, were produced exclusively for members of the Tar Heels football family, making them the envy of all sneaker collectors. This “UNC” edition was one of several collegiate-inspired looks for the Jordan 1 High that were made for Jordan Brand sponsored programs in 2020. Luxury materials characterize this exquisite player exclusive. Faux reptilian leather in University Blue appears on the forefoot, toe cap, and eyelets. Obsidian leather in a faux stingray-like texture can be found on the collar and on the heel and Swoosh. The school’s “UNC” logo appears on the tongue tag of the left shoe to complete the exclusive design.

Air Jordan 4 “Georgetown,” Player Exclusive
NIKE, 2012
Size 13, High-Top
Includes Original Shoe Box and Hangtag.
$16,000-20,000 | £12,000-14,000 | €14,000-16,000

The Georgetown Hoyas are one of the most storied programs in college basketball history, a team that has produced countless pro players throughout the years, including superstars Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson.

Sponsored by Jordan Brand, the Hoyas have been blessed in recent seasons with some of the most sought after and impressive Air Jordan Player Exclusives to ever hit the court. This Air Jordan 4 PE for the Hoyas from 2012 is easily one of the most coveted of all on the collector’s market.

Clad in the school’s dark blue and grey color scheme, this stunning Jordan 4 features a blue nubuck leather upper with the team’s iconic African-inspired kente cloth pattern from its uniforms printed across the heel tab, midsole, and inner lining. The school’s bulldog logo adorns the tongue patch, and the “G” logo is found on an additional patch on the inner tongue.

Today's News

June 7, 2021

Toomey & Co. Auctioneers to hold 'Fine Art + Furniture & Decorative Arts' on June 9

Lost painting by Sir Winston Churchill from the Onassis Family Collection to be offered at Phillips

Major presentation of new works by Yayoi Kusama opens at Victoria Miro

Collectors of digital NFTs see a 'Wild West' market worth the risk

Clarence Williams III, a star of 'Mod Squad,' is dead at 81

David Zwirner opens an exhibition of paintings by Bridget Riley

Now Open: Diane Arbus curated by Carrie Mae Weems

Calder's Untitled and Kirchner's Pantomime Reimann: Die Rache der Tänzerin will highlight Christie's sale

The Metropolitan Museum of Art launches "Your Met Art Box" in collaboration with Citymeals on Wheels

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents one of the largest crochet works to date by Ernesto Neto

Yoshi Wada, inventive creator of sound worlds, dies at 77

Friedman Benda opens a group exhibition curated by Glenn Adamson

Four Scottish artists' work acquired by Government Art Collection

$19 million in endowment gifts given to Minneapolis Institute of Art

Christie's Paris Design sales achieved a total of €9,384,875

Original Air takes flight: The largest sneaker auction ever held at Christie's

Eva Birkenstock appointed new Director of the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen

How 'Hamilton' saved a bookstore from dying

A beloved London concert hall grows bold as it turns 120

Kerlin Gallery opens solo exhibitions of works by Elizabeth Magill and Kathy Prendergast

Almine Rech London opens an exhibition of work by Larry Poons

Hemingway-inscribed For Whom the Bell Tolls headed to Heritage Auctions

Christie's achieves €8,2 million for the Post-War and Contemporary art day sale

Ground-breaking male form sale at Bonhams

With 'In the Heights,' Anthony Ramos finds stardom on his own terms

Want more diverse conductors? Orchestras should look to assistants.

Difference between Screen Printing and Digital Printing

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful