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Christie’s has launched a new dedicated department to capitalize on a growing wave of collectibles among younger people.
British auction house Christie’s is launching a new department to take advantage of the booming market for sports collectibles, including sneakers and sports-inspired streetwear. Furthermore, Christie’s new department, known as Department X, will also sell rare collectibles across a host of industries. These include music, fashion, art, and sports history.
With sneakers and streetwear set to be among its biggest categories, Christie’s suggested that the move is keeping with ongoing trends. According to the leading auction house, a growing wave of younger collectors is redefining the world of collectibles. Speaking on the development, Caitlin Donovan, Christie’s head of Handbags, Streetwear and Sneakers, explained:
“When looking at the auction world and the way collectors are evolving and the new collectors coming into the marketplace, we felt this is a strong and robust marketplace.”
In addition, Donovan, who will also head Department X, opined that this new wave of collectible trends would only intensify. According to her, “it’s only going to get stronger and that’s why we felt it was time to dive headfirst into this new market.”
Donovan Weighs in on New Wave of Christie’s Collectibles, References Sports Icons
In Donovan’s opinion, younger collectors have a strong attraction to the images and culture they grew up with. This is why rare sneakers and other memorabilia tied to sports icons will likely increase in value alongside collectors’ growing wealth. Donovan explains:
“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.”
Amid the announcement on Monday, Christie’s said it would be giving Air Jordans and Supreme skate decks their own category. Furthermore, the well-established auction house also stated that this would be alongside Impressionist & Modern Art and Old Masters.
In leading Department X, Donovan will receive support by a team dedicated to auctions and private sales. The new department will hold online auctions with live previews in New York. In addition, Department X Sneakers, Streetwear, and Collectibles will also conduct private selling exhibitions throughout the year.
Kanye West-Inspired Offerings
To mark the department’s launch, Christie’s will offer a private selling exhibition of two rare pairs of sneakers. Titled “Ye Walks,” the shows are inspired by multihyphenate artist Kanye West, with the collection focusing on his impact on design and sports.
The first West-themed sneaker is a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype. This was the first pair of sneakers the Grammy award-winning artist designed with Nike. West collaborated with Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers in Nike Innovation Kitchen to produce this. The original Yeezy design takes heavy inspiration from the Air Jordan brand of sneakers.
In addition to the Nike Air Yeezy, Department X will also offer the Nike Donda West Air Jordan VI. This line of shoes was inspired by West’s late mother, Donda West, and was never released to the public. Instead, West created them for a few of his close friends and family.