Sotheby’s newest offering isn’t game-worn or owned by an NBA legend, but still guarantees to drive hypebeasts wild. The renowned auction house announced it would be auctioning off a sample of Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton x (RED) LV Trainer, signed by the designer himself. All proceeds will be donated to (RED) to assist their fight against pandemics.
While we’ve seen an uptick in auctions for game-worn and rare original models, not many have benefited charity. As part of Louis Vuitton’s longstanding collaboration with Bono and Bobby Shriver’s (RED) foundation, however, this sneaker is charitable to begin with. The (RED) organization raises money to fight two pandemics — COVID-19 and AIDS — and this shoe auction could help raise thousands for the causes. Since 2008, Sotheby’s has helped raise a total of almost $80 million in partnership with (RED), but this sneaker might be the most stylish sale it’s donated.
Devoted to detail and donations — The LV Trainer, designed by Virgil Abloh, first appeared in Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2019 show. Since its release, the silhouette has become a staple in LV’s footwear lineup, as well as luxury sneakers in general. With a drop last December, though, the label’s (RED) LV Trainer is relatively new.
Featuring a white leather upper embossed with LV’s signature motifs, the sneaker fittingly boasts bright red piping and details. Made in Italy, the LV Trainer is innovative and entirely embellished with Louis Vuitton House codes while nodding to (RED)’s signatures and powerful messaging. A red patent leather tag also displays more motifs and Louis Vuitton’s logo, but is removable if you try to tone down the shoe (in vain).
As a sample, the auctioned pair varies slightly from the pairs sold to the public last December. Instead of a white side grid, which can be seen on the mass produced pair, this prototype features an entirely bright red side grid. The sneaker’s white midsole also sees Abloh’s signature in silver.
Philanthropy is priceless — Although we doubt the auctioned sneakers will be worn, the pair is the standard Louis Vuitton prototype shoe size of a U.K. 9, which translates to a U.S. men’s 9.5. With no reserve price, the (RED) LV Trainers are expected to fetch anywhere between $30,000 and $40,000.
Since most of us can’t afford regular LV Trainers, much less this Abloh-autographed pair, viewing has been made available. During the auction period, which runs from today to March 4, anyone can marvel at the (RED) LV Trainers by appointment in Sotheby’s New York galleries. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to snap a picture to reminisce on what could’ve been.