This article was published on January 27 and updated on February 10
Of course, these special sneakers represent more than a mere collaborative effort. The LV x Nike AF1's appeal stems from a plurality of factors: it's Abloh's final commercial collaborative of comparable scale; the shoes are sneaker luxury at its peak, referencing decades of dreamed-up mash-ups; and, obviously, it brings together two cultural titans in one accessible package.
It made sense that Louis Vuitton would tap Sotheby's to auction off the collaborative Nike sneakers — there's really no other fair way to drop these kicks, presumably destined to become the biggest footwear of the year.
"Fair" is used relatively here because there's no way that a $1,000+ sale price for any sneaker is reasonable for average folks.
These are the pinnacle of rarefied kicks, admittedly, even for Louis Vuitton. But it's still surprising to see how rabid the bidding's been so far and we've got nearly two weeks 'til the end.
When the sale opened on January 26, entry bids for the 200 pairs of shoes began at $2,000 apiece — already inaccessible for most but only a couple hundred bucks more than Abloh's own LV Trainer.
A day later, however, the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 bids had leapt up past $20k; some were peaking at a whopping $50k.
One pair in the tiny size US 5 put the rest to shame with an eye-watering $350k bid.
Realized with a mixed monogrammed Damier leather upper and the requisite co-branding, these shoes are perhaps the best representation of the LV x Nike team-up so perhaps the price makes a bit more sense in context (hardly).
Plus, all of these shoes come with their own custom LV x Nike trunk — ordinary LV trunks of comparable size can go for upwards of $10k so maybe it's kind of a deal.
$350k is pretty up there, though, and bids went even higher by the time the auction ended on February 9, a day later than the original end date of February 8. The winning bid on a pair of tiny US5.5 shoes ended up being $352k while other pairs garnered shockingly high $100k+ bids.
By auction's end, Sotheby's and Louis Vuitton scored over $23.5m.
Abloh's Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s are reportedly set for general release later this year.
They won't retail for five figures (probably), they won't come with the orange cases present in this auction and they'll presumably only be available to top LV clients and the in-the-know à la Dior x Jordan.
If it softens the eye-watering price at all, remember that proceeds from Sotheby's sale of the LV x Nike AF1 sneakers will benefit Abloh's Fashion Scholarship Fund for Black students charity.