To celebrate the release of Adam McKay’s new movie, Don’t Look Up, Netflix and Sotheby’s have teamed up to drop a one-of-a-kind New Balance 550 sneaker featuring meteor fragments that are dated at 4.5 billion years old. The design pays tribute to Jennifer Lawrence’s character Kate Dibiasky, an astronomy grad student, who alongside her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) discovers a comet that is on a direct collision course with Earth.
Sotheby’s and Netflix tapped Manchester-based sneaker customizer Matt Burgess, of MattBCustoms, to put an extraterrestrial touch on the New Balance 550. The shoe’s “N” logo and a leather side panel have been replaced with fragments of a pallasite meteorite discovered in the dry bed of the river Hekandue in the Magadan District, Russia — making the size 10 sneakers not only rare, but best suitable for admiration rather than wear. “When you touch a piece of rock that has been hurtling through space for a third of time itself, it’s hard not to be humbled by it,” Burgess said in a press release. “Creating this shoe was an experience that will stay with me forever.”
Literally out of this world — Each piece of the meteorite was precisely cut within a millimetre of Matt’s design using a high-pressure water jet. In total, 34 fragments were added to the gray and white “Dibiasky” 550 sneaker, accented by cosmic olivine and peridot crystals. Ranging in hues from emerald to amber, the crystals are the result of small chunks of the stony mantle becoming suspended in the molten metal of an asteroid’s iron-nickel core.
To complete the lunar look of the sneakers, their metallic lace locks feature latticework referred to as a Widmanstätten pattern, which is a result of the meteorite cooling over millions of years. According to Sotheby’s, the only place where this can happen is in the vacuum of space; the appearance of this pattern is diagnostic in the identification of a meteorite.
Astronomically priced — Only one pair of the custom Dibiasky 550s exists, making it the one of most exclusive (and expensive) New Balance models ever. Sotheby’s is offering the shoe for $13,200, with all proceeds benefiting the World Wildlife Fund in a bid to reduce human impact on the environment.
The Dibiasky New Balance 550 sneakers launch on December 17 at 12 p.m. ET. Interested buyers, which likely include space-obsessed billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, will be able to purchase the sneakers on Sotheby’s website.