Sotheby’s Offers Up Some of the Rarest Nike Sneakers for its ‘Cult Canvas’ Auction

Sotheby’s is continuing its dive into the sneaker world with an auction featuring a selection of ultra-rare styles.

The auction house kicked off its “Cult Canvas” online sale with 11 Nike sneakers, filled with test samples and one-off designs that would be hard to find anywhere else. The auction started today and will run through Sept. 29.

Included in the selection is the Jeff Staple-designed Nike Dunk SB Low “Pigeon” that dropped in 2005 and now resells for upward of $144,000 on secondary market platforms such as StockX. Additionally, the capsule includes one of 24 pairs in the world of the Nike Dunk High Pro SB “FLOM,” a style with a resale price of an impressive $270,000 or higher online.

The “FLOM” style was designed by artist Leonard Hilton McGurr, also known as Futura 2000, again in 2005 and comes accompanied by another sneaker from his collaboration with Nike and fellow graffiti artist Josh Franklin, better known as Stash.

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Rare sneakers from the Sotheby’s ‘Cult Canvas’ auction.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Sotheby's

Additional styles include a Nike SB Dunk Low “Paris,” one of only 200 in the world —  and no two pair are exactly the same — and even a Nike Dunk SB designed by Japanese artist Katsuya Terada, a prototype that was never released and remains just one of 12 ever created.

“This is a highly curated and extremely selective grouping of some of the most important artist-created sneakers and designs to be released in Nike’s history,” Sotheby director of e-commerce development Brahm Wachter said in a statement. “We’re trying an exciting new format for sneakers in this auction, naming the artists behind the designs first followed by the particular model. Several of the items here are among the most coveted releases by Nike. Many of the artists, like Futura, have strong legacies in the art world. Futura belongs a prestigious group of artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Dondi White, all of whom came out of New York City in the 80s and exhibited at The Fun Gallery.”

The “Cult Canvas” collection is just one of many new sneaker ventures taken on by Sotheby’s in the past year alone. The auction house created its first-ever dedicated sneaker auction in 2019 and has brought in a whole new audience of buyers. The organization announced that of its sneaker sales, more than 50% of bidders have been new to the Sotheby’s with the average buyer aged at 45 years old.

Previous impressive sales include Michael Jordan’s game-worn and autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s for $560,000 in addition to the Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoe” from 1972 that sole for $437,500.

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