The Canadian investor who just dropped R17 million on 100 pairs of rare sneakers reveals why he thinks it's worth the investment
- Miles Nadal, a Canadian investor and collector, spent over $1.2 million – the equivalent of around R17 million – on 100 pairs of rare sneakers at a Sotheby's auction with Stadium Goods this month.
- He spent R6 million on one pair - The Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoe," arguably the rarest item in the collection - that was initially expected to go for around R2.2 million.
- Nadal, also an avid car and sportswear collector, told Business Insider that he looks at his newly acquired sneakers as "wearable or walkable art."
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Canadian investor and collector Miles Nadal broke the world auction record for a pair of sneakers on Tuesday with his purchasing of the Nike Waffle Racing Flat "Moon Shoe" for $437,500 – the equivalent of R6 million – at Sotheby's rare-sneaker auction with Stadium Goods, a press release announced. The sale exceeded pre-bidding estimates that said the shoes could fetch up to $160,000, or around R2.2 million.
But even though he paid almost three times the expected highest bid, Nadal told Business Insider that it was less than what he was willing to pay - $500,000 - and that he was pleased with the result.
In addition to the Moon Shoe, Nadal spent $850,000 (R11.8 million) on the other 99 pairs that were put up for auction, buying them in a private sale that took place before the bidding closed, according to a July 17 press release from Sotheby's.
"It was very opportunistic and it was pretty impulsive," Nadal said of his purchase.
He said his interest in the auction was piqued after he read about it in the New York Post. Shortly after, he had a meeting with Sotheby's Senior Vice President Noah Wunsch, who suggested he buy the collection.
Nadal is currently the CEO of the investment firm Peerage Capital, which acquired Sotheby's International Realty Canada in May. This acquisition marked the start of Nadal's relationship with Wunsch.
See also: These are the most expensive sneakers we could find online in South Africa - including a used pair of Nikes for R29,999
Nadal is also an avid car collector. His private museum in Toronto, the Dare to Dream Automobile Museum, includes a Benz Patent-Motorwagen from the late 1800s and a 1911 Baker Electric.
But his acquisition of the 100 rare pairs of sneakers from Sotheby's marks the collector's first foray into sneaker collecting - a venture Nadal sees as more than a monetary investment.
"I believe that sneakers are where automobiles were 20 years ago," Nadal said, adding that car collecting has attracted a broader interest in the general collector market within the last two decades. He said he believes his sneakers, like his cars, will appreciate in value over time. But the artistic and historic value of the shoes is what made the purchase worthwhile, he said.
"I always call my cars 'moveable' art and I call sneakers, 'wearable' or 'walkable' art," Nadal said.
He plans to put 99 of the 100 pairs on display in a special section of his museum.
"I just am excited about the pleasure it will bring myself and my family and friends, our clients, and charitable organizations that visit," Nadal said.
He added: "I have a great affinity for youth and youth that is less fortunate, and I know most of them love sneakers, so if I can share that, it would be my privilege to do so."
His favourite sneakers from the collection include the Derek Jeter Air Jordans and the Travis Scott Cactus Air Jordans.
As for the Moon Shoe, Nadal has a special place in mind for the one-of-a-kind pair that he says represents the start of "sneaker culture" as we know it.
He plans to display the shoes - which were designed by Nike cofounder Bill Bowerman and constructed with a waffle iron- in his Toronto office, next to a waffle iron and a book about the sneaker's history.
"I think it is just an extraordinary piece of sports and memorabilia history," Nadal said.
Nadal's pair of Nike Moon Shoes are the only unworn pair of the sneaker that is known to exist.
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