NEW YORK, 1 December 2020 – Sotheby’s is pleased to announce that we will auction a singular, one-of-a-kind sneaker created in collaboration with adidas and trailblazing porcelain maker Meissen – two pioneers of German design, bringing generations of expertise to one of the world’s most iconic silhouettes.
Celebrating a shared history of meticulous craftsmanship, heritage and timeless design, the ZX8000 Porcelain features premium adidas leather hand-painted by Meissen, and marvelously hand-made Meissen porcelain overlays. Weighing exactly 950 grams, this inimitable pair of sneakers has been assembled over a six-month period, moving between adidas headquarters in Herzogenaurach, and Meissen, Germany – home to the brand’s porcelain manufactory – throughout the process of its creation.
The ZX8000 Porcelain will be offered in a single-lot, online-only auction open for bidding from 7 – 16 December, with an estimate of $1/1,000,000. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Brooklyn Museum, to fund art programing to provide access to the arts for local youth.
Handmade in Germany using the finest leather and porcelain, watch HERE as Meissen pulls back the curtain for a rare, behind-the-scenes look inside the Meissen Factory, as the world’s most skilled porcelain makers create the one-of-a-kind work of art.
At the heart of this unique collaboration is a harmonic coalescence of two icons: the Meissen Krater Vase and the adidas Originals ZX8000 silhouette. First designed in 1856, today and for the very first time, the Krater Vase unites a number of decorative styles and techniques from throughout the manufacturer’s 310-year history. Paying homage to this quintessential piece of Meissen design, the ZX8000 shoe model is adidas’ own modern icon, adorned with 15 of the Vase’s 130 different patterns. Ensuring the pair’s unique place in history, each pattern has been meticulously crafted with the utmost care and precision by four individual painters across three separate Meissen departments. A testament to craftsmanship, art, and unbound creativity, this silhouette is unmatched in its elegance.
The art piece serves as an elevated representation of the adidas A-ZX series: originally launched in 1984 as a line of high-performance running sneakers, adidas released the ZX8000, followed by the ZX 9000. adidas presented the inaugural A-ZX line in 2008 and 2009. Meissen joins partners such as IRAK and more members of the adidas Consortium who have interpreted the ZX story. Other creative partners who have re-imagined the ZX series through innovatively disruptive celebrations. adidas will also release a commercially available ZX 10,000 shoe inspired by the Meissen craftsmanship and design later this month.
Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s Director of eCommerce Development, commented: “Sotheby’s is thrilled to partner with adidas and Meissen to offer this ground-breaking collaboration, which further explores the relationship between art, fashion, culture, and of course, sneakers. Spanning a six-month period, a tremendous amount of effort went into creating this work, and Sotheby’s is pleased to present this piece to both our sneaker and fine art collectors globally.”
Till Jagla, adidas’s Global Head of Energy, said: “Meissen carries so much heritage and know-how, inspiring collectors around the world. The manufacturing process to create the ‘first porcelain sneaker ever’ has been very complex, and took us more than a year to finish the product. The team has been obsessed with creating the perfect piece of art. When I think about this project, what I liked most is the love, the passion and the dedication, which have led to an overwhelming result.”
Dr. Tillmann Blaschke, CEO of the Meissen porcelain manufactory, said: “We are always looking out for the unexpected and the extraordinary. Pairing craftsmanship and excellence of these two outstanding brands from two different worlds is awesome. We are very excited about this collaboration and honored to present this one of kind sneaker together with adidas at Sotheby’s New York.”
The Meissen porcelain manufactory was founded in 1710. The signet of two crossed swords is its unmistakable trademark representing uncompromising quality, unsurpassed craftsmanship and cultural heritage to which MEISSEN remains committed to this day: from the purest raw material sourced from the manufactory’s own kaolin mine, the world’s largest and oldest trove of moulds, models, patterns and decorations spanning centuries of artistic epochs. For over three centuries the art and craft skills as well as the experience of the manufactory's dedicated artisans have been handed over from one generation to another.
It is the ability to draw upon this rich history to continually create anew that makes Meissen creations mesmerizing and covetable in equal measure. Thoughtful reflection on the history that has shaped Meissen porcelain, from the Baroque to the present day, with openness to modern design, art and culture.