The Farfetch-owned sneaker and streetwear marketplace first partnered with the luxury auction house last summer. The pair’s collection—dubbed “Original Air: Michael Jordan Game-Worn and Player Exclusive Sneaker Rarities”—included 11 pairs of Jordan sneaker memorabilia, from a game-worn, pre-Air Jordan Nike Air Ship PE to an Air Jordan 14 “Chicago” the basketball legend sported while practicing for the ’98 Finals.
That initial collaboration must have performed well because Christie’s and Stadium Goods are linking back up this month for a second joint collection—this one more than eight times larger than its predecessor.
Early highlights from “Original Air Takes Flight: The Evolution and Influence of Air Jordan Sneakers” are available to browse now in a dedicated online viewing room. The collection will go live Friday, with the full selection to be exhibited at Christie’s New York from Friday to Wednesday. Additional viewing of select highlights will last from Wednesday to June 30. Bidding is scheduled for June 22-30.
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. A selection of “pristine” original 1985 Air Jordan 1s lead the lineup, including the hard-to-cop 1985 Air Jordan 1 Metallics. Brand samples from more recent years, such as the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” in a Lunar Wedge format and a one-of-one Air Jordan 4 in white with black mesh make appearances.
Pairs exclusive to and worn by Jordan himself comprise another section of the auction, as do pairs worn and autographed by his teammates—B.J. Armstrong—and competitors—Charles Barkley. The lineup includes items from other professional athletes, including Yankees icon Derek Jeter, and NBA glitterati Russell Westbrook, Ray Allen and Jimmy Butler. A handful of pairs from stars who modeled their game and sneaker style after Jordan, such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, are featured too. The collection also includes high profile collaborations between the Jordan Brand and musicians like Eminem and Drake.
The price ranges listed for individual items in the collection vary from several thousand up to $120,000-$160,000 for a development sample of the Air Jordan 2. Other big-ticket items include a complete set of the original 14 Air Jordan models produced during Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls, valued at $50,000-$70,000, and a 1984 salesman sample of the Air Jordan 1 High, listed at $22,000-$25,000.
Air Jordans have emerged as one of the most reliably valuable sneaker brands in the market for high-end kicks. In May 2020, a pair of original 1985 Air Jordan 1s worn and signed by the basketball star broke the world auction record for sneakers when it sold for a cool $560,000. Another pair of Air Jordan 1s then smashed that record in August, changing hands for $615,000.
Kanye West’s Yeezy brand, long popular among sneaker resellers on sites like StockX, subsequently shattered that number in April when Rares bought a pair of Nike Air Yeezy prototypes for $1.8 million. The sneaker investment startup plans to let the public purchase “shares” of the elusive kicks starting June 16.
The growth of high-end sneaker auctions matches the broader flourishing of specialty footwear resale in general. As the market grows, its demographics appear to have shifted, with women increasingly occupying the once male-dominated space.
These changes prompted The Edit Man London, a U.K.-based online store for limited-edition sneakers and high-end streetwear, to announce a rebrand to The Edit LDN last week. The decision came not just as women made up an increasing number of the site’s customers, but after they grew to be the majority of consumers.
“As a brand we want to remain current and relevant to our community, our new name now fairly represents and embraces our diverse community but is true to its origins,” CEO and founder Moses Rashid said in a statement. “We dropped the ‘Man’ from the name simply because the number of women buying had been steadily increasing since launch in January 2020 and passed 50 percent in March this year. It was the right thing to do.”
The Edit LDN says it has seen rapid growth since its launch nearly a year and a half ago. In the past 12 months, the consignment store has seen sales grow 60 percent month-on-month. By April, it claims, it had garnered more traffic, transactions and revenue in 2021 than it had in all of 2020.
“This is a marketplace worth $6B a year globally and will grow 5x by 2030,” Rashid added. “By the end of this year, The Edit LDN will be worth £10 [million, $14.1 million] and given the hyper growth rate of our sales and revenues, we will 3x our valuation by the end of 2022 for sure. In meeting the needs of this rapid scaling, we will seek to raise funds this year to propel us as we launch in new markets.”