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One guy paid $850,000 for a rare sneaker collection being auctioned by Sotheby’s

A pair of yellow Nike Air Jordan 5s
Nike’s Air Jordan 5 “Tokyo 23,” one of the pairs of rare sneakers with a new owner.
By Marc Bain
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Sotheby’s first-ever sneaker auction isn’t scheduled to end until July 23, but it’s already a success. That’s because one man has bought 99 of the 100 exceedingly rare shoes that were up for bidding, for a grand total of $850,000.

The new owner of the shoes, Sotheby’s says, is Miles Nadal, an entrepreneur and collector of classic cars. Nadal started the marketing and communications firm MDC Partners Inc., but stepped down in 2015 amid an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into his expenses, the company’s accounting practices, and trading of the company’s securities by third parties. He then founded the investment firm Peerage Capital, where he currently serves as CEO and is involved in a number of philanthropic efforts.

Rick Maiman/AP Images for Allison & Partners
Miles Nadal in 2011.

Among the shoes Nadal bought were Jordans made for friends and family of brand partners and never released to the public, a pair of Adidas NMDs created exclusively as a gift for late designer Karl Lagerfeld as part of a collaboration between Chanel and singer Pharrell, and the 2016 self-lacing Nike Mags originally inspired by the futuristic Nikes in Back to the Future Part II. There were also complete sets of all the Yeezy 350 V2s, and all the shoes from Nike’s “The Ten” collaboration with designer Virgil Abloh.

The self-lacing Nike Mag, first imagined for the movie “Back to the Future 2.”

The only shoes Nadal didn’t succeed in acquiring are arguably the pinnacle of the collection: Nike’s 1972 “Moon Shoe,” a key artifact in the company’s early history designed by cofounder Bill Bowerman, who got his inspiration for the sole from his waffle maker. According to Sotheby’s, the owner of the Moon Shoes was the lone consignor not to accept Nadal’s offer. They remain open for bids—meaning Nadal still has a chance to get those, too—and are expected to fetch up to $160,000.

The only known unworn pair of Nike’s 1972 “Moon Shoe.”

The auction is a partnership with sneaker reseller Stadium Goods, and illustrates how much clout sneakers carry in pop culture today (Quartz member exclusive). “It seemed like a great idea, and especially with the trajectory we’ve been seeing in how—culturally—art, luxury, streetwear are all starting to intertwine in these bigger ways,” Noah Wunsch, Sotheby’s global head of e-commerce, previously told Quartz about the Stadium Goods tie-up. He added that this collecting category has become “really strong.”

Nadal says he plans to show off his new sneaker collection at his Dare to Dream Automobile Museum, the private museum he has in Toronto where he displays his collection of numerous rare cars. “I have always been an avid enthusiast and appreciator of unique art and collectibles that represent innovative design, exceptional craftsmanship, and new and exciting trends in pop culture,” he said in a press release. “Acquiring such a range of contemporary classics is a unique opportunity to build a substantial sneaker collection of iconic proportions.”

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