PHILANTHROPY SNEAKERS & FASHION

Inside Fat Joe & Mayor’s AF1 Auction for Virgil Abloh’s ‘Post-Modern’ Fund

Fat Joe and Mayor share their favorite Virgil Abloh stories and give Boardroom an inside look at the upcoming auction.

Two of the biggest Air Force 1 collectors on the planet are teaming up for an upcoming giveaway and auction on the platform Whatnot,  as both Fat Joe and Mayor are donating some of their all-time favorite pairs to benefit the late Virgil Abloh’s “Post-Modern” scholarship fund. 

With a lineup including Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s by Virgil Abloh, five colors of Mayor’s Croc “Made To Order” Forces, the Fragment x Lunar Force, and two colorways of Fat Joe’s rare exclusive “Terror Squad” AF1s from the 2000s, the sneakers will be raising money for a deserving cause. 

To honor Virgil’s legacy and impact across design, footwear, and culture, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Abloh’s “Post-Modern” scholarship fund

“I’ve always been passionate about giving the next generation of students the same foundation for success that was given to me,” Abloh said in July 2020 upon launching the fund.

Abloh jumpstarted the fund with a $1 million pledge to help support the next generation of Black fashion industry leaders, and the foundation has continued on since Abloh’s tragic passing last November. To date, over 40 scholars have each received $7,500 scholarships awards. A network of students have also been provided with job placement and mentorship opportunities through a web of corporate partners in the fashion and design space.

Beginning at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday on Mayor’s Whatnot channel,  he and Fat Joe will be hosting the five giveaways and five auctions. Each box will be opened at the end of the stream by Fat Joe. 

Ahead of the benefit auction, Boardroom caught up with both Fat Joe and Mayor to discuss Virgil’s impact over the years and how they’re hoping this initiative can benefit “Post-Modern.”

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NICK DEPAULA: How would you describe Virgil’s impact on sneakers and culture at large?

FAT JOE: Virgil was a genius. His impact on sneakers and the culture was iconic and will stand the test of time. He opened doors for other Black and Brown designers to follow in his footsteps, and he changed the culture of fashion forever. I was proud to know him and, in my eyes, my brother Virgil will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

MAYOR: He’s a cultural icon. What he did for sneakers is incredible. To have a young man, who I met in 2016, become the person that he was. The impact that he made on the sneaker game was just nothing short of amazing. He deserves every accolade he ever got.

NDP: Do you have any specific interactions with Virgil over the years that stick out to you?

FJ: A lot of people don’t know this, but Virgil and I were talking about designing an exclusive Terror Squad, Air Force 1 sneaker timed around the 40th year anniversary of the Air Force 1. He approached me about the idea, and I was honored. We were getting ready to team up on something special, but he was just a good brother all-around. I miss him, and I know his influence will last forever.

MAYOR: I have a very funny Virgil story. I met Virgil in 2016. It was at a Nets [game] at the Barclays Center, and we were all inside of a Nike suite. I had a Hublot watch on my wrist, and inside the suite, they had a Hublot wall clock. Once I walked in the door, I was laughing because I had the exact same wall clock on my wrist. I was trying to take the clock off the wall. Virgil was taking pictures of me doing it. And I had everybody in the suite cracking up. That was hysterical. I wish I had those pictures, but he’s the one that took them.

NDP: How did you pick out the AF1s that you’re incorporating into this auction? 

FJ: I decided to go with two of my favorites, Terror Squad Air Forces for the auction. It was a tough decision, but it’s going toward a much more important cause and supporting Virgil’s scholarship fund. Only the best for Virgil, and we’ll do whatever we can to keep pushing his goals forward in his memory. 

MAYOR: I had 28 pairs of Air Force 1s that were never released. It was a made-to-order program. It was like Croc skin, snakeskin shoes that Nike decided to stop using exotic materials. So, they ran these samples, and I got a hold of all the samples and had 28 pair. I had doubles of each. It was seven white with croc, and seven black with croc, and I was like “Yo, let’s do something crazy. Let’s grab shoes that nobody else has ever had before.” I had these shoes for years. I think I wound up giving a few pair to Offset, and the rest I still have. So I was like, ‘If we’re gonna do something for the people, let’s auction off some and give some away to people for a good cause.’ It’s some of the rarest Air Force 1s ever.

NDP: What are you hoping the impact from this auction is for Virgil’s “Post-Modern” scholarship fund?

FJ: We want to honor Virgil’s legacy and raise funds to put the next generation of Black fashion industry leaders in position to succeed. Virgil didn’t just focus on his own success. He wanted to break barriers for other multicultural designers and create more diversity in the industry.

MAYOR: Virgil led by design and by example, so this was a no-brainer. We as cultural figures and influencers, it’s our job to help raise as much money as we can, so that Virgil’s scholarship program can be as successful as possible.

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