Since 2003, Nike and OHSU Doernbecher have brought nearly 100 young designers together for Doernbecher Freestlye, a program that provides children battling life altering and/or threatening illnesses with opportunities to design some of Nike and Jordan Brand’s most popular sneakers to raise money and awareness for the hospital. During that time, more than $30 million has been generated for the hospital, including $1,898,525 from the 2019 collection.
Typically, a group of children ages 8 to 15 are selected to work with Nike designers on a range of footwear that’s eventually released to the public. Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, last year’s Freestyle program didn’t go on as planned, but an audible was called to make sure something was still done for the hospital.
Instead of a range of shoes designed by the children, Nike and Doernbecher settled on one shoe, a “What The” themed Air Jordan 1 made up of elements of Doernbecher Freestyle designs of the past. Unlike past years, this shoe isn’t being prepped for a wide release—instead a very limited run of 17 pairs was produced, with the first auctioned off tonight during the Virtually Freestyle event. At one point, that pair was selling for more than $2 million (before the shoe was even unveiled), but the auction was quickly pulled, possibly due to some suspicious bidding activity. The remaining 16 pairs will be auctioned off on eBay beginning Feb.26.
See the component breakdown for each sneaker in the pair below.
UPDATE (03/02): Following last week’s official revealing, Doernbecher has announced the auction for its special “What The” Air Jordan 1. The limited run of 17 pairs will be up for auction via eBay starting today at 12:00 p.m. PST and will remain open until Sunday, March 7 at 12:00 p.m. PST. Each pair will come with exclusive packaging including a laser-etched wooden box and a special pull-over hoodie. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
UPDATE (03/07): Doernbecher’s “What The” Air Jordan 1 auctions have ended, raising a combined $565,069.88 combined dollars for the hospital. That’s an average of about $33,239 per pair, with the highest selling for $52,900 and the lowest going for $22,523. The shoes were such a hot commodity that NBA Sneaker King P.J. Tucker shared frustration about losing out on his size 14 (selling for $25,100) by a hundred dollars on Instagram.