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Someone just bought Steve Jobs’ old slippers for almost $220,000

The auction house did not disclose the identity of the buyer.

steve jobs on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

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Steve Jobs was many things. A ruthless business visionary that saved Apple from bankruptcy and transformed it into the world’s most valuable company? Check.

A marketing maven who made computers cool? Definitely. Terrible father? Oh yes. 

But fashion icon? That’s a bit more complicated. When dealing with clothing, Jobs was a man of simple taste.

His wardrobe seemingly consisted of two things: blue denim jeans and black turtleneck sweaters. He looked more at home on the stage of WWDC than strolling down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. 

And yet, his simple attire inspired others. Elizabeth Holmes, convicted fraudster and founder of Theranos, mirrored his style thread-by-thread.

If you ever go to a large tech event, take a shot for every Jobs wannabe you stumble across. I promise you; you’ll be drunk by lunchtime. 

I mention this because someone just spent $218,750 buying Steve Jobs’ sandals. Were they the kind of diamond-encrusted shoes Paul Simon sang about on Graceland? No. They were normal, brown suede Birkenstock Arizonas

Image: Julien’s Auctions

Birkenstocks are undeniably comfortable but hardly the cutting edge of haute couture. They’re more commonly found on the feet of park rangers and aging hippies than Victoria’s Secret models. 

But although these sandals may lack on the aesthetic front, they were nonetheless present for some of the most important moments in tech history.

Jobs purportedly owned (and wore) them during the 1970s and 1980s, when Apple emerged from a Palo Alto basement and began its path to world dominance with the release of the Apple II computer.

According to the auction house, Julien’s Auctions, the “well used” yet “intact” slippers still bear the imprint of Jobs’ feet.

steve jobs wearing sandals
Image: Julien’s Auctions

Julien’s Auctions did not disclose the identity of the buyer. In total, the Birkenstocks attracted 19 bids and far surpassed its guide price of $60-80k. 

The auction house claims a former house manager for Jobs, Mark Sheff, retrieved the slippers from the trash during one of Jobs’ many clearouts. 

According to an interview with Sheff in Business Insider, Jobs “kept very few things.” He seemingly was a devotee of Marie Kondo, long before Marie Kondo was a thing. 

Oh, and because it’s 2022, the buyer also received an NFT with the slippers. According to the auction house, the NFT is a 360-degree representation of Jobs wearing the slippers and is stored on the Polygon blockchain. 

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Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Past work can be found on The Register, Reason, The Next Web, and Wired.

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