In March of 2018, Louis Vuitton named visionary Off-White designer Virgil Abloh as its new men’s artistic director. While Abloh’s tenure was cut tragically short by his passing in November of 2021, his historic appointment – as the most powerful Black executive in the world’s most powerful luxury group – left an indelible mark on both the streetwear and high fashion landscape.
Prior to joining Louis Vuitton, Abloh produced a number of collaborations with Nike through his design label Off-White. At the helm of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, he realized an unprecedented opportunity to bridge the worlds of streetwear, Hip Hop and high fashion. Read on to discover our top LV sneaker picks, highlighting coveted pairs by the visionary designer.
1. Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Gold
In 2022, 40 years since the Air Force 1 was introduced, a culmination of the rich history of the silhouette was realized with the introduction of the Louis Vuitton x Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh. Released posthumously, Abloh’s work seamlessly connected the decades of prominence of Nike’s famed sneaker.
In total, Virgil Abloh designed 47 bespoke pairs of the Nike “Air Force 1” for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 show in collaboration with Nike. To distinguish them from the original Nike Air Force 1, the sneakers were made with materials employed in Abloh’s Louis Vuitton men’s collections and styled with his signature quotation marks, echoing the written graphics Abloh used to adorn the shoes. Every pair was made by Louis Vuitton in Fiesso d’Artico, marking the first time the AF1 model was crafted outside of a Nike factory.
In January 2022, the first installment of the Louis Vuitton x Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh came to market through Sotheby’s, with a total of 200 pairs offered at auction in an exclusive colorway and accompanying pilot case. A general release of nine additional pairs dropped in June 2022 and featured two Louis Vuitton x Nike AF1 sneakers in eye-catching metallics, with one dressed entirely in dazzling gold Monogram-embossed metallized canvas. In total, 21 Nike Air Force 1 Louis Vuitton retail release styles are expected. With nine revealed, the remaining twelve Louis Vuitton x Nike shoes are hotly anticipated – but the next drop remains, as yet, undisclosed.
2. Louis Vuitton LV Trainer Sneaker Virgil No. 7
The Louis Vuitton “LV Trainer” was first presented during Virgil Abloh’s debut Spring–Summer 2019 show, and has since become a staple menswear sneaker. The iconic design was inspired by vintage basketball sneakers.
This pair of LV Trainers was released as part of the Louis Vuitton Spring–Summer 2022 collection and speaks directly to the season’s Illusion Monogram theme. Designed in grain calf leather with a gradient tie-dye effect, this iconic model of Louis Vuitton sneakers has intricate detailing. Monogram Flowers are featured on the outsole and the Louis Vuitton script signature is stamped on both sides of the shoe’s upper. Additionally, “LV” branding can be found at the tongue and the #54 signature is featured on both heels. Made in Italy, each pair of these Louis Vuitton trainers takes seven hours of stitching to produce.
3. Louis Vuitton Runner Tactic Sneaker
First debuted at the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 men’s show, the Louis Vuitton "Runner Tactic" takes inspiration from running shoes and is crafted from a mix of materials, namely mesh textile and suede calf leather. Finished in a predominantly green upper, the design of these Louis Vuitton sneakers features reflective Monogram Flowers and LV initials on the sides, with additional LV branding at the tongue. The pair is finished with a padded collar and a lightweight rubber outsole, stamped with a Vuitton signature.
4. Louis Vuitton Upcycle Trainer
A collaboration with Virgil Abloh, the Louis Vuitton Upcycle Trainer was released in 2021 and features designs from pre-existing LV trainers. This is seen in the mix and match of colors and materials on these LV . The limited colorway features a blue and white calfskin upper, suede tongue and contrasting teal shoelaces. The shoe creatively integrates Louis Vuitton and Virgil Abloh’s signatures, including handwritten annotations, loose sewing threads and an iridescent tag accessory. The Louis Vuitton Upcycle Trainer is one of many emblematic Virgil Abloh collaborations that showcases his intention in detail and breakthrough design.
5. Louis Vuitton Trainer Monogram Denim
The Louis Vuitton “LV Trainer” was first presented during Virgil Abloh’s debut Spring-Summer 2019 show, and has since become a staple menswear sneaker. The iconic design of these LV trainers was inspired by vintage basketball sneakers.
This 2022 rendition of LV Trainers consists of Monogram denim and Monogram-embossed grained calf leather. The design features a blue and white colorway, with a gold Louis Vuitton script signature on the side, and Monogram Flowers on the strap and outsole. Additionally, “LV” branding can be found at the tongue and heel, and the pair is finished with a rubber outsole. Made in Italy, each pair of these Louis Vuitton sneakers takes seven hours of stitching to produce.
6. Louis Vuitton Ollie Richelieu Pink
The LV Ollie Richelieu sneaker is part of the Louis Vuitton 2022 Spring-Summer collection. This LV shoe is constructed with pink grain calf leather embossed with the fashion house’s signature Monogram and rests on a transparent rubber outsole with Monogram Flowers at the heel. Each pair of these Louis Vuitton shoes comes with bicolor double laces and features an LV flame logo on the tongue.