Sneaker culture has reached fever pitch—a trend that is currently on full display at Sotheby’s in New York. The auction house has partnered with Stadium Goods, one of the leading resellers of sneakers in the marketplace, on the “Ultimate Sneaker Collection,” an online sale of 100 rare kicks from the consignment store’s Trophy Case. “When it comes to collectibles, the passion that many niche sneaker collectors have felt for a long time has risen to the surface, and the items have been recognized as globally accepted commodities, rich in history and innovation,” says Ben Jacobs, brand director for Stadium Goods. “We’re at a point now where sneakers carry a heritage worthy of collecting as much as fine art.”
Curated by the team at Stadium Goods, the “Ultimate Sneaker Collection” encapsulates how sneakers have grown in status over the years—how they have surpassed their intended performance function, becoming a force that extends well beyond traditional retail. Essentially, they are now covetable, luxury goods on par with watches, historical documents, and museum-worthy works—which is why Stadium Goods sought out Sotheby’s for the auction, instead of doing it on its own platform.
“We recognized the importance of doing something like this together in this context, and thought it would give us the chance to create something special for a global audience, and tell a new story together,” says Jacobs. “Our interactions with various collectors, and the actual pieces that surfaced throughout the process of curating this auction, confirmed the importance of the project.”
Indeed, while hypebeasts dominate the purchasing of luxury goods, choosing items with street-style leanings, the lots are expected to sell well beyond their initial retail value. From the Nike Waffle Trainer “Moon Shoe” with a starting bid at $80,000 to the Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4 “Friends & Family” Collection at $35,000 to the 2011 release of the Nike Mag sneaker worn in Back to the Future Part II at $11,000, the selection is intended to appeal to fanatics who value the prestige of owning pieces that were originally available in limited quantities—regardless of price.
“The product represented in this exhibition is exceptional,” says Noah Wunsch, global head of e-commerce at Sotheby’s. “The auction includes some of the rarest Air Jordans in the world, all of the Yeezy Boost 350 v2 sneakers produced, and even a pair of Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas sneakers owned by Karl Lagerfeld. I think the selection will resonate with established collectors and sneakerheads, and will also be an entry point for aspiring collectors who want to learn more about sneaker culture.”
The “Ultimate Sneaker Collection” is available at Sothebys.com from now until July 23, 2019.