A distinct pair of Apple sneakers, once only available to Apple employees, has hit the resale market, with Sotheby’s auction house asking for a hefty sum of $50,000. These white leather trainers, exhibiting the iconic old rainbow Apple logo on both the tongue and the laces, are expected to be highly sought-after. The predominantly white trainers were specially made for the employees and were given out at a National Sales Conference in the 1990s. They are described as “one of the most obscure in existence” by Sotheby’s, a testimony to their rarity and value.
The Appeal and Condition
Despite being new and unworn, the years have slightly aged them, as reflected by yellowing around the midsoles and light marks on the toe boxes. They come in a US size 10.5 and include an alternate pair of red laces. According to a BBC report, these shoes were never intended for general release, which significantly amplifies their appeal to collectors.
The Legacy of Apple’s Branded Products
Although Apple is widely known for its revolutionary tech products, it has occasionally branched out into the world of fashion and accessories. In 1986, Apple introduced a range of products, including mugs, umbrellas, keyrings, and even a sailboard, under “The Apple Collection.” All these items featured the signature rainbow Apple logo. The company continued to produce what was known as “white label products,” goods manufactured by third parties but sold under Apple’s branding and logo.
Apple’s Footsteps in Fashion
Apple’s foray into clothing and accessories aimed to promote the brand and foster a sense of community among Apple enthusiasts. Despite discontinuing this initiative in 2015, Apple later partnered with luxury fashion brand Hermès to create watch straps and even designed jackets for employees at their Cupertino headquarters in 2020.
Valuable Apple Memorabilia
The new offering of Apple sneakers is part of an expanding market for valuable Apple memorabilia. The auctioning of vintage Apple products has seen a significant increase, often commanding hefty price tags. An example is the first-edition 4GB iPhone, which was auctioned off for a staggering $190,000, far exceeding the previous record of $63,000 for an 8GB model. The popularity of such retro gadget collector’s items signifies the cultural significance and enduring appeal of Apple products.
Price vs. Worth
While the $50,000 asking price for the Apple sneakers is a substantial amount, it’s still cheaper than some other vintage Apple products sold in recent auctions. For instance, the first-edition iPhone, previously mentioned, and a pair of old Birkenstock sandals owned by late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, fetched $200,000 in November 2022. With the growing trend of collectible technology and retro items, these sneakers, steeply-priced yet incredibly rare, are likely to be the next valuable addition to the collections of Apple enthusiasts and memorabilia collectors worldwide.
The Future of Tech Memorabilia
As the market for collectible tech items continues to grow, it’s likely that we will see more rare and vintage items from tech giants like Apple being unearthed and valued for their historical and cultural significance. The sale of these Apple sneakers not only reflects the popularity of the brand but also showcases the impact of technology on our culture and lifestyle. In conclusion, the unveiling of the Apple sneakers at Sotheby’s presents an opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to own a piece of Apple’s storied history. Amidst a growing trend of acquiring and valuing tech memorabilia, these sneakers symbolize the ongoing influence of tech companies and their cultural relevance in our society. This sale, therefore, isn’t just about a pair of sneakers; it’s a celebration of an iconic era in technology.