Open for bidding 26 January – 8 February on Sothebys.com
Louis Vuitton is collaborating with Sotheby’s, the world’s premier destination for art and luxury, to auction 200 special edition pairs of Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh sneakers with Louis Vuitton pilot cases. The auction is a link in a string of related Louis Vuitton events to take place from January through 2022. Proceeds will benefit The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, which in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, supports the education of academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.
The auction marks the first-ever release of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” created by Virgil Abloh in collaboration with Louis Vuitton and Nike for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Collection. Prior to his passing on 28 November 2021, the Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director was involved in the early organization of the auction and its surrounding events. The auction will take place in association with his family.
The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh Sneakers Auction at Sotheby’s
Open for bidding 26 January – 8 February, the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh (Sothebys.com/NikexLV) dedicated, online auction will include 200 pairs of a special edition Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh sneaker originally created for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Men’s Collection.The 200 pairs of the special edition will be made available in a range of sizes, from 5 - 18, and with a starting bid of $2,000. The sneakers, entirely made in precious calf leather, are embellished with Louis Vuitton’s emblematic Monogram and Damier patterns with natural cowhide piping. Each pair will be sold with a Louis Vuitton pilot case, also from the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 collection, which was reinterpreted from the Maison’s archive in an iconic orange colorway and made of Monogram Taurillon Leather.
The pilot case features Louis Vuitton’s classic S lock closure in white metal finishing and includes a luggage tag in the shape of the Nike Swoosh. The pilot case adapts to every shoe size, based on an internal cushion system, and will be exclusive to the auction. Sotheby’s has a longstanding track record of auctioning the most rare and desirable sneakers and holds the world auction record for any pair of sneakers. Proceeds of the auction will be donated to The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, according to his wishes. The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh and pilot case will be on view at Sotheby’s New York in a free, public exhibition open from 19 January – 8 February.
The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” Collaboration by Virgil Abloh
The Nike Air Force 1, celebrating its 40th year, was designed in 1982 and is one of the most successful and iconic shoes ever created. On the occasion of the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Men's show presented in June 2021, Virgil Abloh designed 47 pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike "Air Force 1" by Virgil Abloh sneakers in collaboration with Nike.
The sneakers were made with materials employed in Abloh's Louis Vuitton Men’s collections, fusing the trainer's classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton in homage to the hip-hop culture that shaped him. The shoes were styled with his signature quotation marks echoing the written graphics Abloh used to adorn his work. The individual styles designed for the show were made by Louis Vuitton in its shoe manufacture in Fiesso d’Artico, Italy.
The Virgil AblohTM “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund
In July 2020, Virgil Abloh created the Virgil AblohTM “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund. Launched on a $1 million donation by Virgil Abloh and partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, New Guards Group, and Nike, its mission statement is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent. Virgil Abloh named the fund “Post-Modern” to signify that recipients will receive not only funds but also ongoing career-support services and mentoring through the FSF. “Post-Modern” Scholars are selected each year from FSF’s network of 66+ colleges and universities across the U.S., including eight HBCUs, through the annual FSF Scholarship Competition.
The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh Sneakers Community Campaign
From 19 January 2022, as a lead-up to the auction, select individuals who inspired Virgil Abloh and the collaboration will receive pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh. These pairs will be in unique colorways, and will not be on auction or later commercialized. The gesture honors Abloh’s view of the original sneaker as a cultural symbol of the hip-hop heritage that nurtured him growing up. Through his practice at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh celebrated the cultures and communities that shaped his upbringing and vision. He regarded the original Nike Air Force 1 as an emblem of this community, and the recipients of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh seeding reflect this authentically.
Louis Vuitton Exhibition and Store Launch of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh
Louis Vuitton will open an exhibition featuring the original 47 pairs from the Spring-Summer 2022 Men's Collection, with details to be announced at a later stage. The event will precede the commercial launch of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh sneakers which will be available in limited quantities and exclusively through Louis Vuitton's store network. This launch will feature different colorways to those on auction in January and will be priced in line with starting bids.