Sotheby’s is hosting a sale of extremely rare sneakers in an auction referred to as “Cult Canvas.” The sale, which runs from today until September 29, consists of eight artist-designed Nike shoes, including one-off and limited edition pairs as well as production samples from the likes of Futura, Jeff Staple, Bernard Buffet, and more.
“This is a highly curated and extremely selective grouping of some of the most important artist-created sneakers and designs to be released in Nike’s history,” said Sotheby’s Director of eCommerce Development, Brahm Wachter. “We’re trying an exciting new format for sneakers in this auction, naming the artists behind the designs first followed by the particular model. Several of the items here are among the most coveted releases by Nike. Many of the artists, like Futura, have strong legacies in the art world.”
With “Cult Canvas,” sneakerheads have the opportunity to purchase game-changing pairs ranging from Jeff Staple’s “NYC Pigeon” Dunks, which many insist signaled the birth of sneaker culture, to Futura’s Dunk High “FLOM” and the “Bred” Air Jordan 1 by Peter Moore, just to name a few.
The sneaker sale comes as Sotheby’s continues to immerse itself in the vintage fashion and memorabilia market, having recently hosted its first-ever auction dedicated to hip-hop. Led by the crown Notorious B.I.G. wore when photographed as the King of New York in 1997, which sold for $594,750, the auction fetched $2.1 million in total.
You can learn about each sneaker from the “Cult Canvas” sale below.
Estimated Price: $70,000 – $80,000
The “Paris” Nike SB Dunk Low sample features the work of French expressionist Bernard Buffet. This particular pair was created during the testing process for Nike’s “White Dunk” exhibition in 2003, in which sneakers were produced for the tour’s host cities.
Estimated Price: $50,000 – $60,000
Only 24 pairs of Futura’s “FLOM” Dunks were created, with 21 of them being given to friends and family, leaving three to be raffled off to the public. The “FLOM” is considered to be one of the rarest Nike SBs ever made.
Estimated Price: $25,000 – $30,000
The “NYC Pigeon” Dunks by Jeff Staple are referred to as the “sneaker that started it all,” ultimately declaring the birth of sneaker culture. With only 150 pairs produced, the sneaker sent fans into a frenzy on release day, as it is remembered as one of the wildest drops in Nike history.
Estimated Price: $8,000 – $10,000
The Peter Moore-designed Air Jordan 1 is widely regarded as one of the most iconic silhouettes ever. This particular iteration is a retail pair from 1985 from Nike’s famous “Banned” commercial.
Estimated Price: $7,000 – $10,000
This Dunk Low sample by Japanese illustrator Katsuya Terada was originally designed for Nike’s aforementioned “White Dunk” exhibition, although it never released. The pair is one of just 12 in existence.
Estimated Price: $5,000 – $10,000
The “Gardener Wood” Dunk Low is based on Michael Lau’s skateboarding comic strip, Gardener. The upper of the sneaker features four skateboard imitating drill holes on the ankles.
Estimated Price: $6,000 – $8,000
The “What the Dunk” by Nike designer James Arizumi was created from 31 different Nike SB Dunks. The sneaker went on to inspire numerous other Nike “What the” releases, including the “What the Doernbecher,” “What the Kobe 7,” and “What the LeBron,” to name a few.
Estimated Price: $3,000 – $5,000
Pieter Janssen, a Dutch artist known as Piet Parra, is the designer of this Nike SB Dunk Low, which was created exclusively for friends and family.
Visit sothebys.com to bid on any of the eight sneakers today.
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