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Sotheby's auction of Louis Vuitton & Nike "Air Force 1" by Virgil Abloh soars to record-breaking $25.3 million
The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- In a highly anticipated auction that marked the first-ever release of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” and Louis Vuitton pilot case created by Virgil Abloh, the 200 lot sale achieved a total of $25.3 million—more than eight times the auction’s overall $3 million high estimate—setting multiple new benchmarks, including the highest known public records for the most valuable sneaker and fashion auctions ever staged, and the most valuable charity auction at Sotheby’s in nearly ten years. Proceeds from the sale will benefit The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, supports the education of academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.

The blockbuster auction was highlighted by Lot 1, Size 5, which achieved $352,800 –more than 23 times its $15,000 high estimate. Lot 181, a size 11, had the highest number of bids in the sale, registering 68 total bids.

Michael Burke, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, said: “We are thrilled that the record-breaking fundraising auction for Virgil Abloh’s Post Modern Scholarship Fund has generated such exceptional results. We are proud that thousands of students will be able to benefit from the proceeds, allowing us to continue to uphold Virgil’s mission to inspire and support future generations.”

Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Today’s record-breaking auction, which saw unparalleled global participation, is a testament to Virgil Abloh’s legacy as one of the most visionary artists and designers of his generation whose widespread influence and impact is still palpable. Sotheby’s is honored to be have been a partner with Louis Vuitton and Nike in this special sale, which is now among the most successful charitable auctions ever staged at Sotheby’s.”

Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Head of Streetwear and Modern Collectables, commented: “From the moment our auction launched, the energy has been electric. In the first day of bidding alone, we broke the record for the most bids in the opening day of any online sale. Sneaker collectors from around the world continue to seek out the best of the best, and nowhere was that more evident than with this special sale honoring Virgil Abloh.”

Peter Arnold, Executive Director, Fashion Scholarship Fund, added: "The auction's monumental success will enable the Fashion Scholarship Fund to continue Virgil's legacy of supporting talented Black undergraduates seeking to enter the fashion industry. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of LVMH, Nike and Sotheby's —and to all of Virgil's fans who placed bids— for helping us move the Virgil Abloh "Post-Modern" Scholarship Fund forward, ensuring that Virgil’s vital initiative will endure.”

Auction Records Driven by Unprecedented Bidding:

• Highest known public records for most valuable sneaker and fashion auctions
• Record for most bidders in any online sale at Sotheby’s

The auction opened with a flurry of demand, setting a new record for the number of bids received during an opening day for any online sale at Sotheby’s
• Widespread global interest, with more than 1,200 bidders, and the most participation for a Sotheby’s sneaker sale
• A total of more than 10,000 bids across the sale, with an average of 52 bids per lot
• Strong global participation, with bidders from more than 50 countries
• 100% of lots sold in excess of high estimate

New and Younger Bidders Drive Record Results:

• An overwhelming majority of bidders and buyers participated in a Sotheby’s sale for the first time, with more than 75% of buyers new to Sotheby’s
• Younger collectors came out in full force, with more than two-thirds of all bidders under 40, and more than half of all buyers under 40

Strong Participation from Asia:

• Collectors from Asia comprised 40% of total buyers
• Nearly one third of all bidders from Asia
• Bidders from Asia accounted for 44% of all bid value
• Average age of collectors from Asia was 35

Collectors Compete for Rare Sizes:

• Lot 1, Size 5 led the auction, achieving $352,800
• Size 9 achieved the highest total value by size, totaling $3.4 million across 26 lots
• Most competition for size 8, with a total of more than 1,400 bids for the size
• Lot 181, a size 11, received the highest number of bids (68 total)

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