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Sotheby’s Auctions Louis Vuitton Sneaker Prototype to Raise Funds for AIDS and COVID-19 Fight

Sotheby’s will auction a prototype for a Louis Vuitton sneaker designed and signed by men’s artistic director Virgil Abloh to raise funds for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS and the impact of COVID-19.

As part of its continued collaboration with Red, the nonprofit organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006, Vuitton is donating the one-of-a-kind Louis Vuitton I (Red) Trainer, which has no reserve price and is expected to fetch between $30,000 and $40,000 during the online-only auction.

Bidding on the pair, in a standard U.K. men’s size 9, opens on Monday through March 4. The shoes will be on view by appointment in Sotheby’s New York galleries during this period.

Increasing the value of the sneakers, the side grid on this pair is red, later adjusted to white for the actual production launch of the shoe, which went on sale on Dec. 1 to mark World AIDS Day. Full proceeds from the Sotheby’s auction will be donated to the Global Fund.

“As a designer, I am really proud to use creativity and design to spur positive change,” Abloh said in a statement.

“Virgil Abloh is one of the most forward-looking and innovative artists working today, and he has permanently transformed the landscape of design and streetwear,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of e-commerce development. “We are extremely excited to present this special LV Trainer prototype, signed by Virgil himself, especially for such an important cause.”

Sotheby’s set a world auction record for any pair of sneakers last year by selling Michael Jordan’s game-worn autographed Nike Air Jordan 1s from 1985 for $560,000. In the course of its partnership with Red since 2008, the auction house has raised almost $80 million for the fight to end AIDS.

This story was reported by WWD and originally appeared on WWD.com.

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