Spike Lee’s $10,000 shoes were just found in the donation bin at a local rescue mission in Portland, Oregon. Worker training student James Free was lucky to find the sparkling gold pair, sitting at the bottom of the bin. After he spotted the shoes, he immediately alerted a staff member, who came over to verify the find.
The gold Nikes had been specifically commissioned by Spike Lee and were created by Tinker Hatfield. Hatfield, a renown shoe designer, was able to create the custom commission to celebrate his Oscar nomination for “BlacKKKlansman” in 2019.
Now, several years later, the shoes had made a reappearance in one of the least likely places, miles up the Pacific coastline.
The Portland Rescue Mission released a statement about the find, noting its rarity.
“He (Free) was sorting through a large crate of…donations when he saw the…sneakers. After gathering second opinions from sneaker-heads and experts, (we) realized what (we) had on our hands,” the statement read.
The shoes were then sent off for proper identification and assurance testing. The Portland Rescue Mission had contacted Hatfield once they had received and processed the donation, working with him to create a replacement offer that would bolster the auction price of the shoes.
Tinker Hatfield himself was able to view and confirm the authenticity of the shoes, and noted that just four or five pairs had ever been made. He then went on to confirm that he was “thrilled that the shoes ended up at the (Portland Rescue Mission) to the Mission, stating that it was a terrific ending to his viral project.
The question for many now, is, where do the shoes (and their proceeds) go from here?
The nonprofit has confirmed that the Rescue Mission will be getting 100% of any auction proceeds that surface. Once given, the funds will be used to create more recovery programs, such as the ones that had helped Free — the original finder of the shoes.
Free also was incredibly touched by the find, prompted to recollect his own experiences prior to the program and during his recovery process. Outlets asked him for a statement, in which he gave messages of encouragement.
“Let someone help you…everyone wants to help. (I) couldn’t be more pleased that the sneakers (I found) in a bin of.items will help hundreds of men…find a pathway forward,” he said. “(They’ll) find a pathway forward and a new community that reminds them of their worth.”
Experts believe that the unique pair of Jordans will get between $10,000-$20,000 on the auction block. The auction is expected to conclude the week of December 18th, 2023 — at which point the funds release process is expected to begin.