Though Virgil Abloh left this Earth in November last year, the late designer continues to make an impact.
Two hundred pairs of Abloh-designed Louis Vuitton-Nike Air Force 1 trainers (and LV pilot case) are now open for bidding at Sotheby’s Auction. Sale funds will help to raise money for the late fashion influencer’s Post Modern scholarship fund. Seeing as the trainers are sitting at $32,000 with 20 bids in and 11 days to go, there promises to be a nice boost for recipients of Abloh’s philanthropy.
The mission of the Virgil Abloh Post-Modern Scholarship Fund is “to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to students of academic promise of Black, African-American, or African descent.” Launched in July 2020 after raising approximately $1 million to support the next generation of Black fashion leaders, inaugural 2021 recipients received $7,500 each toward their education and were paired with creative and marketing mentors at illustrious apparel firms.
While at French fashion house Louis Vuitton, Abloh collaborated with Nike’s Air Force 1 project to develop the stylish and exclusive kicks. Representing the peak of luxury, the sneakers are sewn from calf leather and show off panels embellished with Louis Vuitton’s monogram. This pattern is set off by a tan and brown checkerboard print on the toes, the Nike logo, and a heel tab. A white sole is identified not only by Nike’s italic “Air” logo, but by a second, quote-wrapped, block-lettered “AIR” along the back of the sole. This brown font appears in the same colorway as the shoe bottoms.
Fat, cream-colored laces, identified on the ends by the word “Lacet,” lead up to the shoe’s tongue that sports a distinct, left tab, and a vertically aligned “Louis Vuitton” label floating above the Nike swoosh.
Prior to Abloh’s death, the late Louis Vuitton artistic director took a direct hand in organizing this Sotheby’s auction in New York City. His family and fellow organizers have made sure that the event proceeds in his absence.
Obviously not available to the everyday man, the rarefied runners represent the pinnacle of style — with a price that reflects their rare couture. Though the price is already in the tens of thousands of dollars, the extravagant kicks are likely to maintain their value. Heck, just the orange Louis Vuitton case that they arrive in can cost over $10,000.
This auction will kick off a series of 2022 series of events. And it’s just the first noteworthy footwear addition of the year to go under the Sotheby’s hammer, adding to the auction house’s long-standing selection of the world’s rarest and most coveted sneakers.
Bidding is open until February 8 at sothebys.com.
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