From March 18 through March 29, Sotheby’s is launching “Scarce Air,” a 100% Nike-only auction, produced in conjunction with English Sole. Based out of Chicago, IL, English Sole is an online consignment store for rare and exclusive kicks and run by brothers Drew English and Warren English.
Two years ago, Sotheby’s held a similar affair, teaming up with Stadium Goods to auction 100 of the world’s hardest-to-find Nike and Adidas sneakers. And Canadian entrepreneur Miles Nadal outmaneuvered his competition to snag 99 of them in six days for the sweet price of $850K.
So this year, the renowned auction house plans to reach deeper into the high-end sneaker market and make these kinds of events a more regular occasion. “We’re combining the worlds of vintage sneakers, modern sneakers and memorabilia,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s head of streetwear & modern collectibles, in an interview with WWD earlier this year. “In 2021, we’re going to look to use a drop model for these top 5 percent of sneakers, focus on announcing them beforehand and do a more coordinated drop, and we’re going into the category as quickly and aggressively as we can.”
Fifty pairs of rare Nike sneakers are up for grabs, and the sum total of bids is expected to reach as much as $800K. One of the auction’s biggest highlights is the Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Mismatch” Sample. Estimated to go for as much as $60K, it is the only pair known to exist, signed by Kanye and produced prior to his aborted deal with the Swoosh. Three special pairs of Jordan IIIs, IXs, and XIs, size 7 and with gold patent leather uppers, are also anticipated to fetch high prices. The trio of Jordans belonged to R&B megastar Usher and might go for up $24K a pop.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with English Sole to present this carefully curated group of extremely rare sneakers, some of which have never surfaced in a public auction before,” Wachter said about “Scarce Air.” “The collection is remarkably diverse, and touches everything from music, to art, to design and fashion…We hope that we are able to honor the unique history of each through this offering.”
Check out the gallery below for an up-close look at some of the sneakers for sale. And try to see which Nikes you can score before the auction ends by clicking here.