Department X comes after the success of auction items such as Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” jersey Sotheby’s sale for $10.1 million.
In recent years, luxury auction houses have seen immense interest and equally significant closing bids for sports memorabilia and collectible sneakers. This comes with the popularity of streetwear and the cultures that influence it, from music to athletes.
As a result, Christie’s launched a dedicated department for collectible items under genres including music, fashion, and sports history. Dubbed “Department X,” its debut (private) sale features sneakers by Kanye West for “Ye Walks,” featuring The Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype. The pair is West’s first design Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers.
“When looking at the auction world and the way collectors are evolving and the new collectors coming into the marketplace, we felt this is a strong and robust marketplace,” Christie’s head of Handbags, Streetwear, and Sneakers, Caitlin Donovan, said. “It’s only going to get stronger, and that’s why we felt it was time to dive headfirst into this new market.” Donovan will head the new auction category.
Department X comes after the success of auction items such as Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” jersey Sotheby’s sale for $10.1 million. Meanwhile, Sotheby’s also sold a 200 sneaker pair collection by Louis Vuitton’s late creative director for menswear, Virgil Abloh—the sale closed at $25 million.
Banner images from Christie’s.