Virgil Abloh’s Sneaker Collection Makes Record Breaking $25 Million In Sales In Charity Auction

by Abigail Oluwakemi
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Virgil Abloh lost the battle to cancer late last year, 2021 in a way that has shocked the world to its core. Prior to his demise, Virgil was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection beginning in 2018 and was given increased creative responsibilities across the LVMH brand in early 2021.

Sotheby’s has declared that an auction of 200 pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers created by late US designer Virgil Abloh had fetched a record-breaking total of $25 million.

A spokesman for the auction house told AFP that the most paid for one of the pairs was more than $350,000 during the online sale that ran from 26 January to 8 February.

The sums greatly outdo the initial estimates of Sotheby’s, which had started the bidding for at $2,000 and had projected they would sell for between $,5000 and $15,000 each. In the end, the sneakers, which ranged in size from 5 to 18, averaged more than $100,000 per shoe. The cheapest sold for just over $75,000.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit a scholarship fund set up by Virgil Abloh that supports aspiring designers of Black, African-American, or African descent.

The former Illinois Institute of Technology graduate, Virgil, was a trained architect who also worked in Chicago Street Fashion, entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009, alongside American rapper Kanye West.

The two then began an artistic collaboration that would launch Abloh's career into founding Off-White. The first African-American to be artistic director at a French luxury fashion house, Abloh was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. 

Abloh's design aesthetic which bridged streetwear and luxury clothing was described as transformative by The New York Times. According to The Wall Street Journal, he reached a level of global fame unusual for a designer — an inspirational figure, said
the BBC.

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