With the sneaker market on the rise, Sotheby’s has revealed plans to sell a signed pair of 1985 Nike Air Jordans created for basketball legend Michael Jordan early in his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. The single-lot sale will take place on the house’s website, and the piece of sports history comes with an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000, with bidding open to potential buyers from 8 may. Bidding will continue until May 15, to coincide with the airing of the final episode of ESPN’s documentary the last dancefocused on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls season.
The iconic sneakers were designed and produced by Nike in 1985, and were made exclusively for Jordan before being released to the public in unprecedented endorsement early in Jordan’s career, paving the way for future shoe campaigns by brands. basketball stars. In 1984, the year Jordan entered the NBA, the scale of the Nike deal was unprecedented, and the young athlete was reportedly torn between Nike and competitor Adidas for a major brand partnership. In its first year, the edition brought in $126 million and has earned Jordan $1.3 billion to date since the deal was launched.
The first edition of the sneaker was banned by the NBA commissioner in 1984 for a violation of the league’s uniform standard. In response, Nike produced a second version, later labeled as the Chicago Jordan 1, launching what would become one of the most popular items to come to market in streetwear history.
“Air Jordan has an illustrious history within the Nike portfolio, and we are pleased to honor Jordan’s significant contribution to Nike,” said Brahm Wachter, Director of E-Commerce Development at Sotheby’s.
The pair comes from the extensive collection of sneaker connoisseur, Jordan Geller, who founded the Las Vegas Shoezeum, an institution dedicated solely to historic shoes from his private collection. Claiming the pair as “the most iconic and coveted sneakers of all time,” Geller said in a statement that the sneakers were “the crown jewel of the museum.” He attributed his decision to sell the jewel of his collection to the success of last year’s sale of the 1972 Nike Waffle “Moon Shoe”, which sold for $437,500 at Sotheby’s.