December 05, 2021

Michael Jordan's 1984 Nike Air Ship trainers break records after selling for $1.42m

October 25, 2021

A pair of trainers worn by basketball superstar Michael Jordan at the beginning of his career have sold for a record-breaking $1.42m in Las Vegas.

The white and red Nike Air Ship shoes were worn by Jordan in his fifth game for the Chicago Bulls during his rookie season in 1984.

It was in this year that the athlete and sports brand formed their famous partnership, creating signature shoes and clothing.

This deal paved the way for the many player-brand collaborations we now see today.

"The most valuable sneakers ever offered at auction-Michael Jordan's regular season game-worn Nike Air Ships from 1984-have just sold at $1,472,000 in our luxury sale in Las Vegas," the auction house Sotheby's tweeted.

The shoes were estimated to sell for between $1m (£730,000) and $1.5m (£1.09m) at Sotheby's' Icons of Excellence and Haute Luxury Auction at the ARIA hotel in Las Vegas.

Brahm Wachter, head of Sotheby's Streetwear and Modern Collectables said: "To present such a groundbreaking and important pair of sneakers at this special auction in Las Vegas further solidifies the strength and broad reach of the sneaker collecting community.

"This record-breaking result for the Jordan Nike Air Ships affirms the place of Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan franchise at the pinnacle of the sneaker market."

The "Air Ship" was designed by Bruce Kilgore and was the first basketball shoe worn by Michael Jordan as an NBA professional.

Sotheby's described the size 13 sneakers as being in "good overall condition, consistent with signs of wear".

A statement on their website said: "These White & Red Air Ships are a remarkable artifact in the history of sports and basketball, and have been kept in excellent condition by the Denver Nuggets Ball Boy they were originally gifted to, Mr. Tommie Tim III Lewis."

But the Jordans are not the most expensive pair of trainers ever sold.

In April, a pair of Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 shoes were bought by a company called Rares for $1.8m (£1.31m) in a Sotheby's private sale.

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