Michael Jordan's sneakers break auction record
The stars aligned at a Sotheby's online auction yesterday. For a Venn diagram of sporting history, pop cultural craze and hallowed menswear resulted in an another record broken: this time, with lot 100-and-graily, Michael Jordan's first-ever Air Jordan sneakers.
To coincide with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the finale of sporting sleeper hit documentary The Last Dance, the special sale clocked a record $560,000 according to the storied auction house. Like all of MJ's trainers, they're a mismatched pair – 13 for the left, and 13.5 for the right – and formerly belonged to Jordan Geller of Las Vegas, a professional sneaker collector who established the Shoezeum archive in the same town.
The previous titleholder was a pair of Nike 1972 Moon Shoes that fetched $437,500 in a July auction of last year, being just one 12 pairs made for the 1972 US Olympic Trials by Nike co-founder and college track coach Bill Bowerman.
The Air Jordan's final price tag also massively outperformed its initial predictions. The red and white leather mid-top kicks (first worn by Jordan during his rookie season for the Chicago Bulls) were only expected to fetch around $100,00 to $150,000, thus smashing estimates and cementing archival sneakers as art pieces proper. To put that into perspective, an upcoming original artwork by esteemed modernist Marc Chagall is estimated to hit between $200,000 and $300,000. Small fry!
Of the sale, Sotheby's said it "shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan as one of the most recognisable and legendary athletes of all time, but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market." Oh, and also that The Last Dance has some very, very deep-pocketed fans.