Sotheby’s Auction House will celebrate hip-hop music and history for the first time ever next week. Recording artist Niko Brim’s Juneteenth Nike AF1s created by sneaker customizer Sierato under the direction of 93-year old Juneteenth activist Ms. Opal Lee will be among the artifacts to hit the block. The auction takes place in New York City on September 15th. The shoes will be there along with the crown worn by The Notorious B.I.G. and love letters written by a teenaged Tupac Shakur. Brim and Lee conceptualized the red, white and blue color scheme with thoughts towards the contributions from African-Americans.
Niko Brim’s lyrics from “Hard To Believe” are featured on the sneakers, the official Juneteenth flag and the Black Power raised fist emblem. The last symbol recalls the silent protest at the 1968 Olympic Games in New Mexico when sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos showed their fists while receiving their medals. The number “2.23” is featured across the toebox in memory of unarmed jogger Ahmad Arbery who was fatally shot in Georgia.
The proceeds from the shoe will be split between two organizations; Hip Hop Public Health led by Doug E. Fresh and Dr. Olajide Williams and Unity Unlimited founded by Opal Lee. Watch behind the scenes of making the Juneteenth sneaker.