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High fashion, low tops: The late Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 sneakers hitting Sotheby’s for charity

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Sotheby’s

Legendary Louis Vuitton designer Virgil Abloh passed away in November at 41 years old after a private battle with cancer, but his legacy lives on in a new charity auction.

Bound to get sneakerheads everywhere green with envy, Louis Vuitton and Nike announced they’re teaming up with Sotheby’s for a limited-edition sale of the designer’s take on Nike’s iconic “Air Force 1” kicks.

The auction of just 200 pairs of the sneakers kicks off January 26 and runs through February 8.

Proceeds from the auction of the shoes will benefit The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, an organization, “that aims to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.”

As one might expect, these aren’t your ordinary kicks. According to Sotheby’s, “the sneakers were made with materials employed in Abloh’s Louis Vuitton men’s collections, and were styled with his signature quotation marks, echoing the written graphics Abloh used to adorn the shoes. The individual style designed for the show were made by Louis Vuitton in its shoe manufacture in Fiesso d’Artico.”

What’s more, “Each pair will be sold with a Louis Vuitton pilot case in orange Taurillon Monogram Leather (exclusive to this auction).”

The designer was instrumental in the creation of the auction prior to his death; his family is overseeing the event in his stead.

And in case you doubt these bespoke kicks will fetch a pretty penny from collectors, consider Sotheby’s description: “A cultural symbol in its own right, today the Nike Air Force 1 serves as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance.”

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