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Trainers designed by Virgil Abloh raise record-breaking £18.7 million at auction

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charity auction of 200 pairs of special trainers created by the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh has raised a record-breaking 25.3 million dollars (£18.7 million).

The proceeds – which are more than eight times the  auction’s overall 3 million dollar (£2.2 million) high estimate – will go to Abloh’s scholarship fund.

The designer, known for working with megastars including Kanye West and Victoria Beckham died in November aged 41 after privately battling cancer since 2019.

The trainers are a collaboration between French fashion house Louis Vuitton where he was an artistic director, and Nike’s Air Force 1 project and come with an accompanying pilot case.

They are made of calf leather and embellished with Louis Vuitton’s monogram.

Prior to his death, Abloh was involved in organising the auction at Sotheby’s in New York and the event is now going ahead in association with his family.

The sale has set multiple new benchmarks, including the highest known public records for the most valuable sneaker and fashion auctions ever staged, Sotheby’s said.

It was also the most valuable charity auction at Sotheby’s in nearly 10 years, the company said.

The money is to be donated to Abloh’s Post-Modern Scholarship Fund, which he founded in July 2020 and offers scholarships to students of black, African-American and African descent.

Charles F Stewart, Sotheby’s chief executive, said: “Today’s record-breaking auction, which saw unparalleled global participation, is a testament to Virgil Abloh’s legacy as one of the most visionary artists and designers of his generation whose widespread influence and impact is still palpable.

“Sotheby’s is honored to be have been a partner with Louis Vuitton and Nike in this special sale, which is now among the most successful charitable auctions ever staged at Sotheby’s.”

The Illinois-born designer’s death prompted a wave of tributes from famous fans and collaborators including Kanye West, Drake, Pharrell Williams, Victoria Beckham and Gigi Hadid.

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