Value Of Off-White Nike Air Jordans Soars After Designer’s Death

Value Of Off-White Nike Air Jordans Soars After Designer’s Death

 The sad passing away of acclaimed fashion designer Virgil Abloh at the age of just 41 has triggered a spike in the value of his Nike collaboration sneakers. Abloh died from a rare cancer, and kept his illness out of the media for the past two years. He was the first African-American to lead Louis Vuitton, and he also worked with Kanye West.

 

Stars from the fashion world and beyond expressed their shock and sadness when the news was announced on the 28 November. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Drake paid tribute to the designer’s creativity, and innovative work which brought together streetwear and high fashion. 

 

Abloh was also a talented DJ and artist, who played at major international events in Ibiza and Las Vegas, Sky News reports. As if this wasn’t enough, he found time to gain degrees in architecture and civil engineering. He learned to sew from his mother, and achieved remarkable success in the notoriously exclusive world of high fashion.

 

Musician and producer Pharrell said: "My heart is broken. Virgil you were a kind, generous, thoughtful creative genius. Your work as a human and your work as a spiritual being will live forever. Sending love and light to your wife, children, family and day ones. You're with the Master now, shine."

 

Complex reports that Abloh’s death has sent shockwaves through the sneakerhead community. The designer’s Off-White and Nike partnerships were already lucrative collectors’ items on the resale market, and recently interest in the sneakers has surged. 

 

The most popular designs were already selling at $1,000 to $5,000 a pair, according to the publication. However, now the Off-White Air Jordan 1 ‘Chicago’ range has doubled in value, from an average of $5,500 to a top range of $10,600. The Off-White x Nike Air Presto is another highly sought-after item.

 

Whether the soaring sales, resulting from an untimely death, are a tribute to a rare talent, or blatant profiteering will remain to be seen. Whatever the case, Abloh had many genuine fans who are keen to secure a piece of his legacy.  

 

Abloh’s trademark was to write directly onto footwear with a Sharpie, and make use of punctuation marks to provide an extra layer of interpretation. His designs were slightly ‘rough and ready’, which lends them an authentic streetwear feel, and attempts to close the gap between lived-in footwear and designer goods.

 

Abloh explained in 2017: “My own personal thing is I’m not a sneakerhead. I just wear the same shoes for a really long time, and then I just go on to another. But I understand the sort of passion for them.”

 

This understanding of the sneaker as an artform can be seen in the many Off-White collaborations. He was generous with his knowledge and skill, frequently explaining his process on social media and to fashion students, and creating front row space at his shows for upcoming black artists.

 

Most recently, he worked on a release of 50 Off-White Nike Dunks, each with a different colourway. This successful project was sadly to be one of his last.

 

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