Scarce Air
Online Auction: 18–29 March 2021 • 12:00 PM EST • New York

Scarce Air 18–29 March 2021 • 12:00 PM EDT • New York

S otheby’s is pleased to present Scarce Air – an online auction of some of the rarest and most desired Nikes ever produced. The items represent an incredible assemblage of influences from music to athletics to art and design. The 50 items in this offering are among the rarest to surface ever in a public auction, and Sotheby’s is proud to have partnered with English Sole @englishsole for this carefully curated selection.

Auction Highlights

Highlights include the Nike Air Force 1 Entourage x Undefeated x Fukijama Gold. Created in commemoration of the hit HBO TV series, Entourage, the pair remains one of the most desired sneakers to collectors. In the series, ‘Turtle’ spends an entire episode devoted to hunting down the ‘Fukijama’ Air Force 1. At the end of the episode, Vince – the show’s main character – purchases a custom designed pair for Turtle for a staggering price. The striking Gold Fukijama Air Force 1 features a laser-etched design on metallic gold leather panels and black leather Nike Swooshes. The tongue and heel feature special UNDFTD graphics.

Nike Air Force 1 'Entourage x Undefeated x Fukijama Gold' | Size 9, estimate $30,000 – 40,000

Another highlight includes the Kanye West signed Nike Air Yeezy 2 ‘Mismatch’ sample designed by Kanye West. This style was never put into production by Nike, and the signature makes this a truly rare and unique find. As one of the most iconic sneakers of the twenty-first century, the Nike Air Yeezy 2 still captivates sneakerheads across the globe even almost a decade after their initial release in 2012.

Nike Air Yeezy 2 'Mismatch' Sample Signed by Kanye West | Size 12, estimate $40,000 – 60,000

Also included in this sale are 3 pairs of Jordan IIIs, IXs, and XIs in all-gold designed in commemoration of the singer, songwriter and dancer, Usher. The rarity of the sneakers is extraordinary with very few known to be in existence. This style Air Jordan III in particular was featured in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial that starred Usher. Another pair was worn by superstar basketball player Kyrie Irving in 2015.

Nike Air Jordan III Retro 'Usher' | Size 7, estimate $18,000 – 24,000

The uppers are made from gold patent leather, while the iconic elephant pattern is embossed on the toe cap and heel counter. Instead of the iconic Air Jordan logo on the tongue, this pair features 3 gold stars. Premium black leather lining, gold shoelaces, and the name “Usher” stitched behind the tongue completes the look of this exclusive design.

Along with the Jordan 3s, Usher has also sported pairs of all-gold Jordan IXs and Jordan XIs. It is a great pleasure to have all 3 styles commemorating Usher together at Sotheby’s.

Nike Air Jordan XI 'Usher' | Size 7, estimate $18,000 – 24,000
Nike Air Jordan IX 'Usher' | Size 7, estimate $18,000 – 24,000

Finally, Sotheby’s is pleased to have 3 versions of the Eminem ‘Encore’ Jordan IV available for purchase in this auction. Considered one of the rarest releases of Air Jordan IV’s, the Eminem “Encore” has become a long sought-after addition by many collectors.

Nike Air Jordan IV Retro Eminem ‘ENCORE’ with Marshall Mathers Signed Card | Size 10, estimate $25,000 – 30,000

Initially in 2005, Eminem and Nike teamed up to create a special blue, red, and black colorway of the Air Jordan IV to commemorate the release of his “Encore” album, and only approximately fifty pairs were given to friends and family. Sotheby’s is proud to have a 2005 pair, accompanied by an Eminem signed ‘Shady Records’ card.

Due to the original release's popularity, retro pairs of Nike Air Jordan IV Eminem “Encore” were re-released in 2017 to coincide with Eminem’s “Revival” album.

The 2017 Air Jordan IV Retro Eminem “Encore” features a slightly lighter shade of blue throughout the sneaker, and of grey on the heel tab and wings but all other details stay true to the original release. One of the pairs on offer is identical (though a different size) to the pair StockX had auctioned for the Marshall Mathers Foundation to help fund Detroit community initiatives.

Lot 22 | Nike Air Jordan IV Retro Eminem 'ENCORE' StockX Version | Size 11.5, ESTIMATE $25,000 – 30,000
Lot 21 | NIKE AIR JORDAN IV RETRO EMINEM ‘ENCORE’ (2017) | SIZE 11.5, ESTIMATE $25,000 – 30,000

Sotheby’s is proud to partner with English Sole on this incredible, and highly curated, collection of sneakers.

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