Anonymous Person Donates Rare All-Gold Nike Air Jordans Worth $50K to a Portland Homeless Shelter

A very generous yet anonymous benefactor left a pair of very rare all-gold Nike Air Jordans in the donation bin at the Burnside shelter of the Portland Rescue Mission in Oregon, just before Christmas 2023. James Free, a formerly homeless man who now works with the shelter, found the donated sneakers and set them aside. Erin Holcomb, the shelter director, told CNN that she took a look at them and thought they were replicas. She found out from a local store that they were indeed the real thing.

So we thought, ‘Wow, what amazing replicas.’ In my head, I thought, ‘Maybe we can sell them on eBay for $100…I was absolutely shocked because I wouldn’t have ever in a million years imagined that those would have ended up in our donations bin. But obviously I was thrilled and amazed.

Holcomb contacted Sotheby’s in New York City and arranged to put the shoes up for auction, which wound up selling for an incredible $50,800. This anonymous gift wound up providing generously for Holcomb’s clients at the shelter.

Whoever it was that purchased them, I think really created a beautiful ending to an amazing story and we’re so thankful, thankful to the person who gave them, whoever they were. …It expands our ability to do meals, and overnight shelter and the critical services we provide there. We can get a lot of meals out of this donation, which is huge.

This particular style was worn by Spike Lee, who designed a bespoke pair with Tinker Hatfield to wear to the 2019 Academy Awards. According to Eric LiBlassi of Head of Streetwear Design for Sotheby’s, this particular combination of color and style is from a very limited batch.

With its limited production and unique design, coupled with Tinker’s signature on the box and the design proof, these sneakers are a true collector’s item …This pair is one of very few pairs made. They were reportedly reserved for Spike and a few others on his team…Spike and Tinker worked to produce a colorway to commemorate his Oscar nomination for the film, BlacKkKlansman

Singer Usher was gifted a pair of all-gold Air Jordan 3s in 2014. The same style, plus two others, were put up for auction in September 2023.

The Air Jordan 3 is believed to be one of only ten produced. In 2014, R&B singer Usher received a pair of all-gold Air Jordan 3s as a thank you for his longtime support of the Jordan brand. These shoes were featured in a Honey Nut Cheerios commercial that stared Usher. This Air Jordan 9 model was worn by Usher during a taping of The Voice, the pair is incredibly rare and sought after. The Air Jordan 11 design was worn by Usher during a performance at the 2014 iheart Music Festival in Las Vegas, and are believed to be one of only a handful ever produced.

Thanks Juliet Wenzler!

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.