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The 61-year-old buyer of the world-record most expensive sneakers ever sold at auction—along with 99 other extremely rare pairs—isn’t a sneakerhead. In fact, the idea of investing in a massive collection of shoes hadn’t even crossed entrepreneur and Peerage Capital Group founder Miles Nadal’s mind until a Saturday last summer when a New York Post article caught his eye.
“It was about an auction curated between Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods,” Nadal says. “And they talked about the ‘Ultimate Sneaker Collection,’ which was 100 of the most notable, most interesting, and the most desired sneakers in the world being auctioned online.”
Mentioned in the article was Sotheby’s SVP and Global Head of eCommerce Noah Wunsch, who Nadal had prior business dealings with through Peerage Capital Group’s purchase of Sotheby's International Realty Canada in March. “I sent him a note because we have the [Dare to Dream Museum] in Toronto where we have 145 cars, 45 motorcycles, and a full section of the museum that is focused on apparel,” Nadal said. “And so I thought we should have a section devoted to sneakers. So I said to him, ‘Why don't you send me a recommendation of the six most prolific shoes that you think would go well in our museum?’ And he said, "Okay, fine.”
Wunsch sent over the six recommendations, but the conversation quickly escalated after he offered Nadal the opportunity to buy the entire “Ultimate Sneaker Collection” privately before it even made it to auction. “And I said, ‘Sounds like a cool idea,’” Nadal says, agreeing to pay the high-end range of the auction estimates along with an added buyer’s premium. The private sale was completed within weeks for a total of $850,000, kicking off what Nadal describes as “obsessive compulsive behavior,” which has since seen the collection grow to around 200 pairs.
But there was a catch. The pre-purchase would only include 99 of the original 100 sneakers offered, with Sotheby’s and Stadium Goods instead deciding to send the lot’s most coveted pair—a deadstock 1972 Nike Waffle Racing Flat “Moon Shoe,” believed to be the only unworn pair in existence—to auction. Not to be deterred, Nadal put the cash up for that pair as well, ultimately acquiring the vintage Moon Shoes for $437,500. The figure set a new world record for most expensive sneakers sold at auction, more than doubling the previous record of $190,373 held by Michael Jordan’s game-worn Converse Fastbreak Mids from the 1984 Olympics. In total, Nadal dropped $1,287,500 to obtain the full collection.
Nadal, whose Peerage Capital Group company specializes in real estate and financial services, owns and operates the private Dare to Dream Museum in Toronto. Along with the 100 pairs he acquired from the “Ultimate Sneaker Collection” purchase, Nadal and his team have been adding to the exhibit with the goal of establishing different sections throughout. “One is iconic sneakers that are collectibles,” Nadal says. “Those will be other iconic sneakers that we think are things that would be part of an iconic collection of desirable sneakers. And then what we call everyday wearables or daily drivers, as we refer to our cars.”
Although he’s only been collecting sneakers for a few months, Nadal has already landed on a handful of favorites from the massive collection, namely the “Derek Jeter” Air Jordan 11 Mid, the Houston Oilers-inspired Travis Scott x Air Jordan 4, “Black/Royal” Air Jordan 1s, black Yeezys, DJ Khaled’s numerous collaborations, and of course, the Moon Shoes. But he doesn’t actually wear any of the pairs purchased from the auction, instead keeping them strictly on display at the museum and opting for other, more accessible pairs to lace up.
“The other thing that I find quite fascinating is when you're a middle aged person, and you dress conservatively but you have sneakers, it's amazing how people notice. [People might not care] if I have on a pair of $5,000 Ferragamo shoes, but they will notice a $300 pair of sneakers,” Nadal says.
Next up, Nadal hopes to expand his philanthropic efforts to provide access to sneakers to underprivileged kids, along with continuing to grow the Dare to Dream Museum. Although it won’t open to the public, there are plans to display as many as 1,000 pairs of sneakers with a targeted completion date of three to four months.