With hip-hop now in its 50th year, Jordan Brand will celebrate the legacy of The Notorious B.I.G.—real name Christopher Wallace—with an auction of rare Air Jordan 13 sneakers, according to Footwear News.
Jordan Brand—the 2022 FNAA Brand of the Year—has teamed up with the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation to auction 23 exclusive pairs of the “Christopher Wallace” Air Jordan 13. The shoes will be on public exhibition at the Sotheby’s gallery in New York today through Feb. 3.
The unreleased sneakers, according to Jordan Brand, were created in 2017 to celebrate the late rap icon’s 45th birthday and have remained locked away ever since. The “Christopher Wallace” Air Jordan 13s includes sockliners featuring a red and black plaid flannel pattern, a look that is synonymous with The Notorious B.I.G., as well as a silhouette of Wallace on the tongue and the phrases “It was all a dream” and “If you don’t know, now you know” on the tongue tag. What’s more, the shoelaces have aglets with the word “dream” inscribed on them.
“This Air Jordan 13 has been reinterpreted to celebrate the legacy of The Notorious B.I.G., someone who reached for the stars, had the boldest of dreams, with the work ethic to back it up,” Jordan Brand VP of entertainment marketing Reggie Saunders said in a statement.
The timing of the auction, Jordan Brand explained, couldn’t be more fitting. Aside from hip-hop’s 50th anniversary, the namesake company of NBA legend Michael Jordan—who famously wore the number 23 on the basketball court—will use this moment to launch its Jordan Year 2023 campaign.
“This is just the beginning of a journey for us as a brand in 2023,” Jordan Brand chief marketing officer Shannon Watkins said in a statement. “We want to use the power of our Jordan heritage to energize and accelerate self-belief all year long.”
The auction for the 23 pairs of the “Christopher Wallace” Air Jordan 13 will be held online, also from today through Feb. 3, via Sothebys.com/jordanxwallace. Jordan Brand said the shoes will be offered with an estimate of $2,300 to $5,200 and will be sold without reserve, which means opening bids will start at $1.
Proceeds from the auction, according to Jordan Brand, will benefit the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation. The foundation works to empower inner city youth through educational learning instruments, sponsorships, grants and community-based mentorship programs and campaigns.
“We are thrilled that the Jordan Brand and the Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation have entrusted Sotheby’s with these exclusive pairs of sneakers honoring the legacy of The Notorious B.I.G. as part of the Jordan Year 2023 celebration,” Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables Brahm Wachter said in a statement. “The auction marks the only opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts alike to acquire these special limited-edition sneakers that bring together the legacies of the greatest athlete of all time with the greatest rapper ever.”
Christopher Wallace Memorial Foundation co-chair Wayne Barrow added, “We are excited about this collaboration of excellence and look forward to further empowering youth in our inner-city communities with educational tools and opportunities from the proceeds of the auction.”