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

Sotheby's Celebrates Nike's 50th Anniversary With Massive Auction, With Retired NFL Star Victor Cruz, Starting Today.

Nov 29, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Sotheby's celebrates Nike's
Nike shoes.


Sotheby’s Celebrates Nike’s 50th Anniversary starting today (November 29). The online auction includes 103 Nike relics across different eras. The online auction will go on until the 13th of December. Also, the collection will be on display at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York City starting Nov. 30.


Sotheby’s Celebrates Nike’s Anniversary With 103 Nike Relics From Different Eras

Sotheby's celebrates Nike
Nike shoes.


Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman founded Nike in 1972. Nike originated from Blue Ribbon Sports, founded in 1964. They branded it Nike as an honor to the Greek goddess of victory. Their first shoe was the Waffle Racer. Over the last 50 years, the Oregon-based running shoe specialist, became 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. Also, the Sotheby’s partnered with former NFL star and one-time Nike collaborator Victor Cruz to present “fifty”.


Cruz’s picks include the Air Jordan 1 Retro High x Off-White “Chicago” from “The Ten” collection with Virgil Abloh. Also, it includes the Nike x Louis Vuitton, Air Force 1 with the pilot case. Then, the Fragment Design x Air Jordan 1 Retro friends-and-family. Also, the Air Jordan 3 Retro sample for Nipsey Hussle’s “Victory Lap” album and the Nike SB Dunk High “What the Doernbecher” sample.


Red Nike shoes.

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The brand’s cult following over 50 years propelled their shoes from athletic necessities to in-vogue goods. From their 2016 collaboration with Drake, a pair of solid gold sneakers went for $2.2 million.


“Sneakers are a personal means for expression”, Cruz said in a release for the sale. “Sneakers are culturally relevant pieces of art and timestamps that bring us back to different moments and memories in our lives”, he added.


“The storyline of Virgil Abloh is so special” – Former NFL Star, Victor Cruz

Nike x Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh.


Cruz also spoke about the Louis Vuitton collection. “The storyline of Virgil Abloh—a Black man being a creative director for a brand like Louis Vuitton—is so special”, Cruz remarked. “Anytime I get a chance to celebrate that and put his achievement to the forefront, I’m going to”.


Handmade by Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman in the early 1960s, the collection features a mismatched pair with their original white laces, and four long metal spikes on each sole were designed for use on a cinder track. This particular shoe, Stotheby’s said, was produced by Bowerman specifically for Clayton Steinke, who ran cross-country and track for the Oregon Ducks from 1960-1964.


Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman 1960s pre-Nike handmade black and blue track spikes.


A nylon Nike x Seinfeld backpack from 1989, on the other hand, is only anticipated to bring around $800 to $1,200. Also, the price of an original pair of 1985 Air Jordan wristbands ranged from $300 to $500.


“We wanted to curate an auction that would appeal to both new and seasoned collectors alike, offering a range of price points”, Sotheby’s Brahm Wachter said. Many are listed as “no reserve”.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.