The Rare Nike Air Jordan Retro 3: A Story of Generosity and Opportunity

2023-12-16 13:53:13

The pair of Nike Jordans was left anonymously at a Portland clothing collection association. Created in only 4 or 5 copies, they are worth thousands of euros and were auctioned for the benefit of the association.

They would not have displeased a collector. A pair of Nike brand sneakers was found in the container of a clothing collection association from Portland, in the northwest of the United States. A very rare Jordan model with an estimated value of around 10,000 dollars (or 9,177.5 euros) which will be resold for the benefit of the association, according to Associated Press.

Sneakers left anonymously

The sneakers, in a size 46-47, were deposited anonymously last April. They were spotted by a member of the Portland Rescue Mission, himself a former homeless person, while he was sorting the new clothes he had received.

At first, the association did not fully realize the particularity of these shoes. “Normally, the clothes are sorted very quickly,” assures the New York Times Erin Holcomb, employee of the NGO, responsible in particular for providing clothes and food to the homeless.

However, they are put aside and the association conducts, out of curiosity, an online search to find out more about this intriguing pair. This is where the members of Portland Rescue Mission realize that these are not just any sneakers.

A model produced in 4 or 5 copies

In an eye-catching golden color and marked with the usual comma, the brand’s logo, these are the Nike Air Jordan Retro 3 and produced in a very limited edition and nicknamed the “Spike Lee Oscars”. According to its designer, only 4 or 5 pairs have been created in the world.

The model was customized especially for the American director, notably behind the film Inside Man, released in 2006. He wore them during the 2019 Oscars ceremony, during which he won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director for his film BlacKkKlansman: I Infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan.

Director Spike Lee (l) with his Nike Air Jordan Retro 3 alongside actor Mahershala Ali (r) at the Oscars on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood – Frazer Harrison / Getty Images via AFP

It is unknown if the pair found in Portland was worn by Spike Lee, but they were identified as part of this limited edition by a Portland shoe store, then by the creator of the model himself.


The Portland shoe seller immediately offered the association to buy the pair from him, but Portland Rescue Mission preferred to refuse.

Instead, the pair, which is estimated at $10,000 (9,177.5 euros), is being auctioned until Monday December 18 by Sotheby’s. For now, the highest bet is $9,000, but the number can still climb to perhaps $20,000. The auction house has chosen to waive its fees so that all profits go to the association.

For the association, such an event is potentially unprecedented. “I’ve been here 17 years, we’ve never sold anything,” says Erin Holcomb.

“I am delighted that the shoes ended up here. It’s a happy ending for a very beautiful project,” greets the designer of the pair of Jordans.

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