Sotheby’s will be auctioning off eight pairs of the Nike Dunk Low ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories’ sneakers designed by the late Virgil Abloh and graffiti artist Futura.
According to the auction house, the dedicated online auction will open for bidding Wednesday, April 5 through Friday, April 14, alongside a public exhibition at Sotheby’s New York from Wednesday, April 5 through Thursday, April 13. Sotheby’s estimates the pairs will be offered between $2,000 through $4,000, but will be sold without reserve, meaning that opening bids start at $1.
The auction marks the first-ever release and sole opportunity for the public to access the limited-edition Dunks with proceeds going to the soon-to-be launched Virgil Abloh Foundation, the auction house said.
What’s more, the Virgil Abloh Foundation has committed to donating half its proceeds to Futura’s choice of charities including the Art for Justice Fund, the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Innocence Project.
From the moment The Nike Dunk Low ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories’ made their grand debut on the runway at Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh’s spring/summer 2020 show in Paris, the sneakers immediately took the world by storm and started a viral sensation.
Futura and Abloh designed two colorways of The Nike Dunk Low ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories.’ The first blue and white Dunks reference the canonical Nike Dunk High ‘UNC’ that integrate the University of North Carolina Tarheel’s iconic blue. The colorway harkens back to the ‘Be True To Your School’ Dunk series which launched the silhouette in 1985 with collegiate-inspired colors, and the same year’s Air Jordan 1 ‘UNC’ release in the colors of Michael Jordan’s alma-mater. Jordan was a childhood hero of Abloh’s and the Tar Heel Blue Jordan sported in his pre-NBA days represented for Abloh the freedom and possibility of a young MJ.
As for the orange and blue Nike Dunk Low ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories,’ these are a nod to Futura’s New York Mets fandom and another canonical Nike Dunk Low SB release, the 2002 ‘Danny Supa’ Nike SB Dunk which helped launch Nike’s official skateboarding arm Nike SB.
“The ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories’ Dunks were so special to Virgil, not only for their role as an anchor piece of the SS20 collection, but as a symbol of collaboration and creativity, two principles he always prioritized,” Shannon Abloh, the widow of Virgil Abloh and the CEO of Virgil Abloh Securities, said in a statement. “The Dunks represent Virgil’s unique lens on art and culture, and this auction with Sotheby’s further aids in keeping his legacy alive.”
For Futura, the auction is a way to honor his friendship with Abloh.
“It’s amazing to finally see the ‘Virgil Abloh x Futura Laboratories’ arriving in this fashion,” he said. “Thank you Sotheby’s for hosting this charitable event. And most importantly, thank you Shannon for moving this project forward. Virgil Forever!!”