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Former NFL Star Victor Cruz Curates a Selection of Nike Sneakers for Sotheby’s

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Former NFL star Victor Cruz has curated a selection of Nike sneakers to be featured at a Sotheby’s online sale from Nov. 29 to Dec. 13.

Cruz, 36, began his football career in 2010 for the New York Giants and was an integral part of the Giants’ victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2012. Earlier that season, he and quarterback Eli Manning tied an NFL record for the longest play with a 99-yard touchdown reception.

Since retiring from the NFL in 2018, Cruz has served as a TV sports analyst, venture capitalist, and philanthropist. He has also collaborated with Nike for the shoe line “the Air Trainer Cruz,” which launched  in 2015, and he owns more than 300 pairs of Nike himself.

“Sneakers are a personal means for expression, and my selection of some of the key pairs in the auction represent some of the themes I find most interesting in collecting,” Cruz said in a statement through Sotheby’s.

Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High Off-White Chicago ‘The Ten signed and designed by Virgil Abloh

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

His top pick is a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1 retro high off-white sneakers designed and signed by Virgil Abloh, the former creative director for luxury brand Louis Vuitton who died of cancer almost a year ago at the age of 41. 

The pair features Chicago Bulls-inspired red, white, and black color scheme, a unique Nike Swoosh logo, “AIR” printed on the midsole, and “85”–-maring the year that the Air Jordan 1 debuted—on the ankle flap. It has a presale estimate between US$10,000 and US$20,000.

Another of Cruz’s favorites is the Nike x Louis Vuitton “Air Force 1,” designed by Abloh for the Louis Vuitton men’s spring-summer 2022 runway show. The sneakers were entirely made in leather and feature Louis Vuitton’s emblematic monogram and Abloh‘s signature quotation marks. The pair, together with a Louis Vuitton pilot case in white metal, is expected to sell for between US$150,000 and US$200,000. 

“The storyline of Virgil Abloh—a Black man being a creative director for a brand like Louis Vuitton—is so special. Anytime I get a chance to celebrate that and put his achievement to the forefront, I’m going to do so,” Cruz said.

Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro x Nipsey Hussle ‘Victory Lap’

Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Cruz also picked a pair of Nike Air Jordan 3 Retro Nipsey Hussle “Victory Lap,” a promotional sample of the Air Jordan 3 made in commemoration of rapper Nipsey Hussle’s first studio album released in 2018. 

Nipsey Hussle, who died of gunshot wounds in 2019, “was always trying to bring his community forward, so I wanted to pay tribute to him by having this shoe as part of the auction,” Cruz said. 

The pair features black leather upper with elephant print and Victory Lap “VL” branding on the shoes’ collar and outsold. It has a presale estimate between US$18,000 and US$22,000.

Sotheby’s online sale, in celebration of Nike’s 50th anniversary, will include 100 pairs of Nike sneakers. Cruz’s curation alongside other highlights of the sale will be on public exhibition at Sotheby’s New York galleries starting on Nov. 30.


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