The Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods sneaker auction took a surprising turn Wednesday morning when they revealed that 99 of the 100 sneakers on auction had been privately acquired by entrepreneur and collector Miles Nadal for $850,000.
The online-only auction of 100 rare and limited-edition sneakers from Stadium Goods’ Trophy Case, the sneaker purveyor’s collection of rare and coveted footwear, began on July 11, and included rare styles spanning decades such as the 1972 Nike Moon Shoe, Virgil Abloh’s MCA Chicago Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, and the one-of-one pair of Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas NMD sneakers for Karl Lagerfeld. Nadal acquired all of the sneakers except for the Moon Shoe that Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods decided to keep on auction.
“We wanted everyone to have a chance at that,” said Sotheby’s global head of e-commerce Noah Wunsch. “We’ve had a number of clients reach out.”
Wunsch said it is rare for a client to contact Sotheby’s directly. The conversation with Nadal began shortly after the auction went live, and they spoke with consignors before the sale. “I could not have predicted that this would happen,” he said. “I think it’s a fantastic outcome. It speaks to this category, how relevant it is today and the demographics it spans as well.” He added that Nadal paid “above the high estimate,” which was at $670,000.
Nadal, the Canadian-born founder and executive chairman of Peerage Capital, a North American business services and private investment firm, is a car collector, with a collection of 142 cars and 40 motorcycles that comprise his Dare to Dream Classic Car collection.
He said that as a kid he started collecting keys and tools and moved to cameras, telephones, and “other forms of innovation and technology,” as well as books before starting his car and racing memorabilia collection 10 years ago. “I guess I’m a serial acquirer,” Nadal said. “I like things that are aesthetic and have a design component.”
His interest in sneakers began in the Eighties and Nineties. “I knew a lot about the art, design and marketing of sneakers and thought they were beautiful pieces of art,” Nadal said. “I’ve always appreciated beautiful sneakers.”
A fan of the Nike’s Jordan range — “All of the Air Jordans are incredible, I relate to Michael Jordan” — Nadal believes that sneakers today are where automobiles were 20 years, in regards to niche market and product exclusivity.
“It wasn’t very complicated,” Nadal said about the purchase. “Iconic sneaker collectors are extremely engaged and pretty young, but the mature collector crowd hasn’t really focused on this and I feel I’m early on to that trend.”
His new sneaker collection will join his auto collection at his Dare to Dream Automobile Museum in Toronto, but will remain at Sotheby’s New York on public view until July 23.
In addition, Wunsch shared that Sotheby’s is open to doing more in the sneaker realm, including another auction. “Not that it’s a definite, I wouldn’t be surprised.”