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The #JordanYear 2023 Celebrations Kick Off With Notorious B.I.G. x Air Jordan 13 Sotheby’s Auction

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Christopher Wallace – widely known as the Notorious B.I.G. – gruesomely passed away on March 9, 1997 at the age of twenty-four. Over the years, tributes to his short-lived, but impactful professional career as a rapper have been made. Jordan Brand made one such salute to the fallen Brooklynite in 2017 to celebrate what would’ve been Wallace’s forty-fifth birthday. The tribute?: A special edition of the Air Jordan 13.

Today, NIKE, Inc. announced that it had partnered with the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation to auction twenty-three pairs of the exclusive Air Jordan retro commemorating the Notorious B.I.G. The event – which will be hosted by Sotheby’s – is part of the Jumpman family’s #JordanYear celebration given 2023’s similarity to Michael Jordan’s iconic jersey number; hip-hop turns fifty in 2023 as well, with the global music genre serving as the foundation for the unreleased collaboration.

“This Air Jordan 13 has been reinterpreted to celebrate the legacy of The NOTORIOUS B.I.G., someone who reached for the stars, had the boldest of dreams, with the work ethic to back it up,” explained Reggie Saunders, Vice President of Entertainment Marketing for Jordan Brand in a press release shared with Sneaker News.

At quick glance, the Christopher Wallace Jordans seem like standard versions of M.J.’s thirteenth signature sneaker, but closer inspection reveals otherwise. The most obvious nod to Biggie arrives in the form of a silhouette on the tongue. Sock-liners feature a classic red and black plaid flannel pattern, a style synonymous with Wallace throughout his time in the spotlight. Unsurprisingly, the Jordan Brand team utilized two sets of lyrics often associated with the Notorious B.I.G. on the tongue tag: “It was all a dream” and “If you don’t know, now you know” from 1994’s hit, “Juicy.”

Sotheby’s online auction begins today and will run until Feb. 3, with shoes estimated to sell between $2,300 and $5,200 USD. Bids, however, begin at one dollar. Proceeds from the high-profile partnership will benefit the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation, which, according to the aforementioned press release, “aims to empower inner city youth with educational learning instruments, sponsorships, grants and community based mentorship programs and campaigns, all in line with its motto, Think B.I.G ‘Books Instead of Guns.’”

Enjoy images of the special Air Jordan 13 ahead, and visit sothebys.com/JordanxWallace to start bidding.

Updated February 13th, 2023: New photos have been added courtesy of @englishsole