The luxury auction house will host two events: a one-day live auction in London consisting of 20 lots, each connected to one of the tennis champion’s 20 Grand Slam wins, and a three-week online auction containing 300 lots, each tied to a match the Swiss star played from 2000 to the present day. According to Christie’s, Federer has signed “almost all” of the items, which arrive two days after the start of the 2021 Wimbledon tournament.
The live auction will take place Wednesday, the same the day the online auction kicks off. Bidding for the virtual auction will close July 14.
“Each and every one of these objects evokes such strong memories and marks moments throughout my career to date which I hold very dear,” Federer said in a statement. “I look back at each now and know that every lot is a part of my success. It took some convincing by my family to part with them all at once but I did so knowing that these items will raise proceeds to implement early education for children in both Africa and Switzerland through my Foundation.”
Before Federer’s 2018 deal with Uniqlo, the tennis player maintained a more than two-decade relationship with the footwear giant Nike. The vast majority of the apparel and footwear items up for bidding—shirts, jackets, shorts and, of course, sneakers—comes from this era. The collection also includes a pair of sneakers from On, the Swiss performance brand Federer backed in 2019, as well as numerous shirts, shorts, headbands and wristbands from Uniqlo.
Christie’s estimated values vary wildly depending on the item. Numerous lots consist of just headbands and wristbands and are valued at just 300 pounds ($417) to 500 pounds ($695). Additionally, “a large number of lots” will start out with bids as low as 100 pounds ($139) upon the request of Federer himself, the auction house added, “to allow as many as many fans as possible” a chance to bid.
Still, many of the items listed boast estimated values in the tens of thousands of dollars. These values top out at an estimated 50,000 pounds ($69,475) to 70,000 pounds ($97,265) for a group of goods linked with Federer’s triumph at the 2009 French Open—a win the athlete described afterward as his “greatest victory.” The collection includes a shirt, jacket, sneakers and belt—all Nike-branded and signed—as well as an unsigned pair of Nike shorts and a signed Wilson racket. The lot will open up for bidding Wednesday as part of the live auction.
The pair of sneakers Federer designed with Jordan carries the next-highest estimated value: 40,000 pounds ($55,580) to 60,000 pounds ($83,370). The tennis star wore the specific pair that is up for auction at the 2014 US Open, where the basketball icon himself came to watch him play in his first-round match. The auction includes two other pairs of Jordan sneakers, both valued at 30,000 pounds ($41,685) to 50,000 pounds (69,475). All three pairs are only available through the online auction.
One other lot matches the value of Federer’s 2014 Jordans: a Nike cardigan and signed racket from the 2012 Wimbledon tournament that gave Federer his record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title. Of the 20 items available through Christie’s live auction, well over half are estimated to be worth more than $20,000.
Proceeds from the auction will go to the Roger Federer Foundation, an organization the tennis standout founded in 2003 to help children in southern Africa and Switzerland access a quality education.
The high valuation given to Federer’s Jordan sneakers—particularly when compared with gear the tennis star wore and used at his historic 20 Grand Slam wins—corresponds with an increasing institutional recognition of the value of sneakers, especially those connected to famous athletes such as Jordan and Federer.
Just last year, a pair of 1985 Air Jordan 1s signed and worn by Jordan smashed the sneaker auction record when Sotheby’s sold them for $560,000. Christie’s broke that record a few months later when it sold another pair of Air Jordan 1 for $615,000. Two months later, Sotheby’s launched a “but now” online store dubbed “The Sneakers Shop.” Today, it is offering sneakers for as high as $53,000.
Bidding on Christie’s Federer collections will overlap with another auction the house is running. Created with the streetwear marketplace Stadium Goods, “Original Air Takes Flight: The Evolution and Influence of Air Jordan Sneakers.” The 90-pair collection features game-worn sneakers, samples and prototypes from the Air Jordan’s early days; rare exclusives; and pairs worn by Jordan’s teammates and rivals. Bidding began Tuesday and will last through June 30.