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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 26 September 2022

Christie's Launches Sneakers, Streetwear & Collectibles


NEW YORK - Christie's is thrilled to announce Sneakers, Streetwear & Collectibles, a new department focused on this emerging collecting space, led by a team dedicated to auctions and private sales. The department offers rare collectibles across a number of genres - music, fashion, art, and sports history – bringing the best of this exciting category to a new generation of collectors. From offering history-making footwear to iconic pieces of hype culture, the department will hold online auctions, with live previews in New York, as well as private selling exhibitions throughout the year. This builds on Christie’s understanding of popular culture, and strong worldwide performance in the Luxury category, following the recent success of Six Rings – Legacy of the GOAT, featuring rare Michael Jordan sneakers and collectibles. To mark the launch of the new department, Christie’s will present a private selling exhibition of two rare pairs of sneakers titled, “Ye Walks.”

The new department will be led by Caitlin Donovan. Born and raised in downtown New York, Caitlin has extensive interest in and knowledge of the luxury and fashion markets, specifically Sneakers & Streetwear. Caitlin is a founding member and current Head of Department, Americas, for Handbags & Accessories. She has spearheaded this new sneakers, streetwear and collectibles initiative at Christie’s, introducing this new category over the course of the past three years of specialized sales. Caitlin will take on the role of Head of Department,where she will continue to utilize her deep knowledge and interest in these new collecting markets to develop exciting contemporary sales for a burgeoning collector base.

Caitlin Donovan, Christie’s Head of Handbags, Streetwear, and Sneakers – Americas comments: “With a finger on the pulse of popular culture, and the evolution of what is defined as luxury today, we are proud to announce the Sneakers, Streetwear & Collectibles Department. With exciting sales that will cross several genres of popular culture and collecting – music, fashion, and sports history – I am excited for new and existing clients of Christie’s to embark on this journey with us.”

“Ye Walks” focuses on Kanye West’s impact on the landscape of design and sports iconography. The NIKE AIR YEEZY 1 PROTOTYPE was the first sneaker West designed with Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers in the Nike Innovation Kitchen after two years of vigorous effort. The original Yeezy design features notable elements including Air Tech Challenge II with the midfoot strap along with the midsole tooling inspired by the Air Jordan 3.

Featuring a glow-in-the-dark outsole, a translucent red “Y” shaped lace lock, and soft premium leather material, this shoe’s design was the origin of the now common features of the Yeezy innovative look. Exemplifying premium quality and strong references to iconic models seen in popular collaborations, this model was the first of what would become a historic part of West’s design legacy.

Worn during West’s historic and emotional performance at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, this pair was the first Air Yeezy 1 prototype seen in a public arena, a momentous moment for sneaker culture and the birth of West’s illustrious career as a designer and brand.

The NIKE DONDA WEST AIR JORDAN VI, was created in memory of West's mother, Dr. Donda West. The classic silhouette features lyrics from West’s song "Roses" and is outfitted with his mother’s name on the sock liner. The toe box and upper panels are decorated with intricate lasered roses throughout. The heel and tongue are beautifully finished with embroidered roses. The Air Jordan VI was a favorite of West’s during this era of his career. 

Donda Jordan VIs were never released for public sale. They were created for West and a few of his close friends and family. There are just four to six official pairs in existence, one of which Christie’s is proud to bring to market.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). 

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.