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26 Sep

EXCLUSIVE: Christie’s Launches Department X 

Christie’s goes deeper into the streetwear industry with a latest auction vertical.

The auction house unveiled the launch of Department X, its latest department that focuses on auctions of luxury streetwear, sneakers and sports collectibles, on Monday. Christie’s Department X will host live and online auctions, in addition to private selling exhibitions, and deal with selling items across fashion, music, culture and sports.

“We at Christie’s have a pulse in the marketplace and I believe it’s something that we see across every department and with the way in which that luxury has form of grown and transformed,” said Caitlin Donovan, Christie’s head of purses, streetwear and sneakers. “We‘ve watched the classic luxury departments start incorporating these elements of sneaker culture and streetwear through the leadership and the guidance of individuals like Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones who’ve come into these really storied, iconic fashion houses and brought on this influence. We’ve seen it across jewelry departments and our timepieces department and it really made sense as I used to be watching this market grow and grow that Christie’s would follow suit, because not only do I see this as a really expansive and vital department to grow into, but in addition these collectors are serious and educated.” 

Donovan said she’s seen a rise in interest amongst Christie’s clients in luxury streetwear and sneakers over the previous few years, including latest clients which can be slowly constructing their collections. She believes Department X will proceed bringing latest and younger clients to Christie’s with auctions highlighting items from topical and influential figures.

Department X is kicking off with a non-public selling exhibition, called “Ye Walks,” which auctions two of Kanye West’s sneakers. The primary is the Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype Sneaker, which is the primary sneaker West designed with Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers. West wore the sneakers during his performance on the fiftieth Grammy Awards in 2008. 

Nike Donda West Air Jordan VI sneaker

The second style is the Nike Donda West Air Jordan VI Sneaker, which Nike created in memory of West’s late mother, Dr. Donda West. On the time of her passing, Nike created six official styles for West and his close family and friends. The sneakers were never available for purchase by the general public.

“I feel like Kanye — and just like figures like Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones — he’s really transcended so many alternative genres, but he has really had such an enduring and vital impact on sneaker culture,” Donovan said. “He got here out with this amazing model that has evolved and shifted and he’s created [sneakers] in numbers where people can actually buy them, but they’re also collectibles. He’s such a vital figure in music and popular culture and [the auction] is a terrific example of all of the areas we hope to be hitting with our sales as we proceed to grow this department.” 

The establishment of Department X comes after Christie’s successful “Six Rings — Legacy of the GOAT” online-only auction hosted earlier this 12 months that was dedicated to Michael Jordan’s profession. The auction had a 100% sell-through rate and raised roughly $1.49 million in sales.

Donovan said she expects Christie’s legacy and authority within the auction industry to assist set it aside from other luxury resellers that provide streetwear.

“What Christie’s does best is our curation and our storytelling,” she said. “We plan to have these amazing auctions which can be really tightly curated and which can be well-priced they usually make sense out there, but then we do a very nice job of storytelling. We would like people to grasp the importance and the importance behind collecting sneakers, streetwear and sports or other cultural collectibles.” 

Christie’s will start Departent X with the “Ye Walks” private exhibition and proceed hosting other live previews and personal selling events in Recent York all year long.   

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