In December 2020, the elite auction house like Sotheby’s sold a pair of leather Adidas sneakers online only. Made in collaboration with 311-year-old porcelain maker Mayson, the shoes are embellished with porcelain overlays and hand-painted with beautiful patterns from toe to heel, a six-month process. To one that approaches art. The highest bidder, the sneakers are valued at $ 126,000.
These extravagant Adidas shoes are among the sneakers and high-end streetwear pieces that are infiltrating the Tony auction market. In July 2019, Sotheby’s’ historic batch of Nike “Moon Shoe” waffle-sold sneakers sold for a record-setting $437500 since 1972. A pair of Michael Jordan sneakers worn by the game has since sold more.
Most of the streetwear in the auction block now is sold through traditional retail shops a few years ago – their auction-hammer prices surpassing their original price. Last September, a 2017 Supreme Hoody, made in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, sold for $ 6,048 in Sotheby’s, New York, much higher than the $ 935 ordered at retail. At the Bonhams in London in October, the 2018 pair of Nike X of White Jordan 1 sneakers received $ 2,750, an increase of 1,347% over their retail 190 retail prices. In November 2019, a supremely branded Remo suitcase received approximately $6,400 from Christie’s in Hong Kong. The suitcase hit the retail market in 2018 for $ 1,800.
Considering sneakers as resaleable assets is a new concept. In the early 2000s, Jordan Geller, founder of the Sneaker Museum Shosium, began buying sneakers at California swap meets and resold them for a profit on eBay. Internet flippers like him built a huge money market to ignore Nike, Adidas, and limited-run supreme gear. Gradually, Shri. Geller collected a large collection of sneakers, including Nike Moon shoes, which he said would later be sold by Sotheby’s for a Picasso sketch.
How come old clothes and shoes were once traded at a moderate eBay auction and became the focus of high-quality homes? Doug Woodhams, the managing partner of Art Fiduciary Advisors, an art consulting firm, said the sneaker-selling site StockX, launched in 2016, has convinced many investors that selling sneakers can be profitable. The stockX’s-rich data interface has shown that even the widely released Air Max shoes can sell for up to three times their sticker price, while rare sneakers can bring even bigger catfalls.
When new designs of a brand given model are released, the old designs usually start to rise in the auction market.