Virgil Abloh spent his teen years in Illinois worshipping Michael Jordan, as well as Nike Air Jordans. Now he’s 36, the OFF-WHITE designer has created his own Nikes. In fact, he’s got 10 shoes in total.
The first indication of a collaboration came during Art Basel Miami, when Abloh and his staff wore one-off Air Force 1 Lows chopped up, rebuilt and covered with hand-drawn markings. They were a prototype of the things to come. Now he’s got a fully-fledged collection that includes Nike Air Max, Nike Air Presto, Nike Zoom Vaporfly and his very own Nike Air Jordan I.
Abloh chose “The Ten” because “these shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa. You can debate it all you want, but they mean something. And that’s what’s important.”
His deconstructed and personalised trainers were made “to underscore how the design system and manufacturing of Nike are so perfect. By combining these shoes with design that amplifies their ‘handmade’ quality, we’re intensifying the human element and expanding the emotional connection of these 10 icons.”
There will be a series of “Nike Off Campus” events in New York (6th – 8th September) and London (14th – 17th September) to celebrate the launch of the first five that month. Then all ten silhouettes will be available from November. For full details, head to nike.com/theten