Christie’s launches “Department X” to capitalize on sneaker collections and clothing memorabilia from other industries

British auction house Christie’s is launching a new department to capitalize on the booming market for sports collectibles, including sneakers and sports-inspired streetwear. In addition, Christie’s new department, called Department X, will also sell rare collectibles in many areas. These include music, fashion, art and sports history.

With sneakers and streetwear set to be among the top categories, Christie’s suggested that this move was in keeping with current trends. According to the auction house, a growing wave of young collectors is redefining the world of collectibles. Caitlin Donovan, head of handbags, streetwear and sneakers at Christie’s, explained this shift:

“Looking at the auction world and the way collectors are evolving and the new collectors coming into the market, we felt it was a strong and robust market.”

In addition, Caitlin Donovan, who will also head up Department X, felt that this new wave of collecting trends would only intensify. According to her, “it’s only going to get stronger, which is why we felt it was time to dive headfirst into this new market.

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Caitlin Donovan speaks on Christie’s new wave of collectibles and references sports icons.

According to Caitlin Donovan, young collectors are strongly drawn to the images and culture they grew up with. That’s why rare sneakers and other memorabilia related to sports icons are likely to increase in value as collectors’ wealth grows. She explains:

“With exciting sales that will cross many genres of popular culture and collecting – music, fashion and sports history – I am excited for new and existing Christie’s clients to embark on this journey with us.”

As part of Monday’s announcement, Christie’s said it will give Air Jordans and Skate Decks Supreme their own category. In addition, the well-established auction house also said the category would stand alongside Impressionist and Modern Art and Old Masters.

As head of Department X, Caitlin Donovan will be supported by a dedicated auction and private sales team. The new department will conduct online auctions with live previews in New York. In addition, the X Sneakers, Streetwear and Collectibles department will also host private sale shows throughout the year.

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Kanye West-inspired offerings

To mark the launch of this department, Christie’s will offer a private sale exhibition of two pairs of rare sneakers. Entitled “Ye Walks“, the exhibitions are inspired by artist Kanye West, with the collection focusing on his impact on design and sports.

The first pair of West-themed sneakers is a pair of Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype. This was the first pair of sneakers the artist designed with Nike. West collaborated with Nike creative director Mark Smith and designer Tiffany Beers in the Nike Innovation Kitchen to produce it. The original design of the Yeezy is heavily inspired by the Air Jordan sneaker brand.

In addition to the Nike Air Yeezy, Department X will also offer the Nike Donda West Air Jordan VI. This line of shoes was inspired by West’s late mother, Donda West, and was never introduced to the public. Instead, West created them for some of her close friends and family.

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