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Sotheby’s Celebrates Nike’s 50th Anniversary With Massive Auction

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Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman founded Nike in 1972. Over the last 50 years, the Oregon-based running shoe specialist has become the biggest sportswear brand in the world. To celebrate the occasion, Sotheby’s has curated “fifty“, a streetwear-focused auction highlighting more than 100 sought-out collaborations, prototypes, and more.

Partly curated by NFL Super Bowl Champion and once-Nike collaborator, Victor Cruz, “fifty” includes sneakers, apparel, accessories, and furniture produced by the Swoosh conglomerate between ’72 and 2022. Different styles–both autographed and otherwise–of the Air Jordan 1 and Nike Dunk unsurprisingly make their ways into Sotheby’s latest auction, but arguably less-expected pairs like a Nike Air ACG Mowabb set from 1991 and Air Jordan 17 Retro “OVO” also form part of “fifty”. Various samples from Virgil Abloh’s time with NIKE, Inc. are among Sotheby’s selection for the auction, which begins on Tuesday, November 29th, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT and ends on Tuesday, December 13th

“Sneakers are culturally relevant pieces of art and timestamps that bring us back to different moments and memories in our lives,” said Cruz in a statement for “fifty”.

Cruz’s personal favorites from Sotheby’s collection include the Air Jordan 1 from Abloh’s “The Ten” release in 2017; the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 and Pilot Case released earlier this year; and a rare promo sample of the Air Jordan 3 “Victory Lap” prepped for Nipsey Hussle. Bids for just these three aforementioned items are estimated to raise $262,000 on the high end, with the L.V. collaboration being the highest valued of the trio. Other lots with a similar projected valuation include a player sample of the Air Jordan 1 “Chicago” signed by Michael Jordan and Pre-Nike Track Spikes from the early 1960s handmade by Bowerman.

Sotheby’s “fifty” begins on Tuesday, November 29th. All lots are currently for view online here, with some items on display during the auction house’s Luxury Week Exhibitions in New York City, starting Wednesday, November 30th.