Why Are Off White Sneakers so Expensive?
The sudden death of Virgil Abloh, designer and all-around multi-hyphenate, shocked the sneaker and streetwear industries. It wasn't until 2019 that Abloh was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that the designer's last two years were among the most ambitious of his career when he served as Louis Vuitton's artistic director and collaborated with Nike on numerous Off-White-Nike projects. Prior to his passing, practically all of Virgil Abloh's "The 10" Off-White x Nike models sold for over $1,000 on eBay. Off-Nike White's collaborations already had a high price on platforms like StockX and GOAT.
StockX, one of the reselling sites that declined to comment, did. In a live marketplace, real-life events have an impact on market performance, as stated in the message. There was a spike in interest in Virgil Abloh-related merchandise following the devastating news of his loss."
That's what the stats show. His most popular Off-White Nikes sold for around $5,000 on StockX before his death, including the Off-White Air Jordan 1 "Chicago." After the news leaked on Sunday afternoon, the price of the sneakers on the aftermarket jumped from an average of $5,500 to $10,600 in some sizes within a matter of hours. Over 20 pairs of "The Ten" Off-White x Nike Air Presto were sold on StockX on Nov. 28 alone for greater prices than they had been selling for in the past two to three days, a dramatic increase in sales.
Last week, a size 11 Off-White x Air Jordan 2 retailed for between $700 and $800 on the secondary market. This was the final size 11 available on StockX, and it sold for $1,250. Virgil's vast collection of 50 Off-White Nike Dunks, including Lot 41, is being sold for nearly $300 higher than its prior resale price after the designer died at the age of 41, as some on Twitter Spaces have pointed out. Collectors may be searching for this lot in particular to pay tribute to him.
There are several high-profile celebrities whose items have skyrocketed on the secondary market, not just Off-White. After Kobe Bryant's death in 2020, Nike.com entirely sold out of all of his stuff, from apparel to footwear, that had been on the stores before his death occurred. Reselling prices for certain of Kobe's Nike Basketball shoes have also increased significantly, so much that some consignment stores have decided not to buy or sell them out of a respect for the late player's legacy.
StockX and GOAT, two of the largest secondary market platforms, have yet to drop Off-White sneakers in the wake of Abloh's death. As a homage to the designer, StockX posted a message announcing that it would be making an unknown philanthropic payment to Abloh's scholarship fund following the news of his death. Social media users were outraged when StockX did not halt the sale of Off-White merchandise, accusing them of benefiting from the death of the designer. Off-White shoes are flying off the shelves at other consignment shops because they're now worth far more than they were when they were first listed.
It's unclear what consignment shops and secondary market sites like StockX and GOAT will do with Off-White sneakers given the sneakers' constant rise in value. No word yet on whether upcoming Off-White Nike models like the Off-White Air Force 1 Mid will continue to be released. This art, which Virgil Abloh left behind, will live on, regardless matter how much the price of Off-White sneakers has risen (or how morally dubious it is to sell them).
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