Nike Air Force 1s Designed By Louis Vuitton Legend Virgil Abloh Are Coming Soon
Introducing the hottest limited edition sneakers of 2022.
The late fashion designer, who served as Louis Vuitton’s first black director of menswear until his untimely death last November, crafted 47 bespoke Nike Air Force 1 designs baring the high-fashion label’s insignia.
One received a low-volume run of 200, each of which were sold for as much as $352,800 at a Sotheby’s auction in February.
Nine more of Virgil Abloh’s AF1 designs are getting proper production for sale in Louis Vuitton stores, and though they’re sure to be snapped up and resold on the aftermarket for vast sums, the suggested retail prices of $2,096 for low-tops and $2,620 for mid-tops are affordable by comparison.
“The Air Force 1 is a sample like the Amen Break. A t-shirt is an ‘Amen Break,’ a suit is an ‘Amen Break,’” Abloh said of his AF1 design philosophy in June 2021, referencing one of the most famous and sampled drum beat breaks of all time.
“We’re all iterating on the same ideas. But, in my canon, the Air Force 1 puts the edge on the blade. This object happened way before me, but to get to a context where it’s adjacent to the t-shirt and the suit, its logic has been forty years in the making.”
The launch includes the classic all-white sneaker embossed with the Louis Vuitton Monogram, plus a riff on the same design in black suede. Two-tone editions in white with either green, red or blue detailing hark Abloh’s rainbow motif, while a metallic gold sneaker pays homage to the designer’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton’s flagship Maison location.
There are also patchworked multi-color renditions, and a Damier canvas edition embellished with a graffiti motif created by the artist Ghusto Leone.
All nine designs are listed below:
- White mid-top in Monogram embossed plain calf leather.
- White low-top in Monogram embossed plain calf leather.
- Black low-top in Monogram embossed calf suede.
- White and Gym Green low-top in a trompe-l’oeil canvas executed in printed Monogram leather and Monogram embossed calf leather.
- White and Comet Red low-top in a trompe-l’oeil canvas executed in printed Monogram leather and Monogram embossed calf leather
- White and Team Royal Blue low-top in a trompe-l’oeil canvas executed in printed Monogram leather and Monogram embossed calf leather
- Gold low-top in Monogram embossed metallic canvas.
- Silver and multi-colour patchwork low-top in Monogram embossed calf suede and monogram embossed metallic canvas.
- Sail and Multicolor mid-top in Damier leather with an Azur graffiti print (available in sizes 5-18)
Coinciding with the sneakers’ launch is a public exhibition located at Terminal Warehouse in New York City from May 21-31. All 47 of Abloh’s AF1 editions will be on display in “physical and virtual form in immersive spaces reflective of the designer’s domains of creation and presentation,” according to a statement from the brand.
Here’s more on the exhibition from Louis Vuitton:
The exhibition…will be wrapped in a vivid orange, and adorned with a logo fusing those of Louis Vuitton and Nike. A grid-like structure, it is the blueprint for the imaginary city erected within the space, seen from above. Walking around the exhibition, guests meander a giant version of the logo reflected in a mirrored ceiling. They are surrounded by 3D-printed statues akin to the ones Virgil Abloh built during his tenure at Louis Vuitton, framed by walls painted in the clouds characteristic of his show sets and campaign imagery.
Drawing on the surrealist ideas central to his practice, the 47 editions of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” dialogue are exhibited in motion on magnetised walls and in holographic displays animating the sneakers with cues to the breakdancing rooted in the hip-hop culture inseparable to their legacy.
A treehouse constructed above the city pays tribute to Virgil Abloh’s affinity for the childlike mind. Inside, it recreates with exact detail spaces from the Louis Vuitton studio and atelier he furnished on Rue du Pont-Neuf in Paris, highlighting the savoir-faire central to his work for the Maison and the artisanal merit with which the sneakers were created in Louis Vuitton’s workshop in Fiesso d’Artico.
Virgil Abloh’s Nike x Louis Vuitton Air Force 1s are set to arrive in stores globally in June.