Almost 35 years ago to the day, Michael Jackson moonwalked across a stage for the very first time. Now the loafers he wore to rehearse the famous “Billie Jean” performance at Motown’s 25th anniversary TV special on May 16, 1983 are available for purchase through auction.
The size nine and a half black leather Florsheim Imperial leather loafers will go for auction live on Saturday at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. The loafers are signed “Michael Jackson” on the sole in blue marker and labeled “Motown 25.″ One of the shoes is numbered “Michael #2.” The catalog description of the shoes says, “These shoes are in wonderful condition for their age, with evident signs of use to the soles.” It is possible that Jackson used the shoes at some point during the TV special too: GWS Auctions said the performance shoes have never surfaced.
The shoes, which Jackson lovingly called his “magic shoes,” come with a letter of authenticity.
Brigitte Kruse, the owner of GWS Auctions, told CNN in an email, “Anything related to Michael Jackson is extraordinary, and to have something so incredibly historical as these shoes worn by Michael when he first did that now famous moonwalk is beyond special. We are so very honored to be able to offer them at auction.”
According to CNN, choreographer and dancer Lester Wilson was the owner of the shoes. He said that Jackson gave the loafers to him after the rehearsal in Jackson’s dressing room.
Kruse added that a “conservative estimate” of the shoes is $10,000.