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About Nike x Louis Vuitton
Designed in 1982 by Bruce Kilgore, the Nike Air Force 1 is one of the most successful shoes ever created. The silhouette’s cultural significance was immortalized in 1988, when DJ E-Z Rock appeared on the cover of the album It Takes Two sporting custom AF1s. The shoes, altered by legendary Harlem designer Dapper Dan, featured a Swoosh adorned in the Louis Vuitton Monogram pattern–an embodiment of “refashion,” the practice of hacking together high fashion and sportswear brands with equal reverence.
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. Building on the silhouette’s “refashion” history, Abloh recognized the Air Force 1 as an objet d’art in its own right, emblematic of the boundary-breaking creativity of the Hip Hop culture that shaped him.
The Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1 first previewed in Summer of 2021 on the Maison’s Spring/Summer 2022 runway. In total, Abloh designed 47 bespoke pairs of LV sneakers for the collection. Fusing the trainer’s classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s Nike Louis Vuitton sneakers seamlessly connect the rich histories of both iconic brands. Every pair of LV sneakers was made by Louis Vuitton in Fiesso d’Artico, marking the first time in the AF1’s 40-year history that the model was crafted outside of a Nike factory. All 47 of Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Nike shoes feature materials employed in his Louis Vuitton men’s collections, and are styled with his signature quotation marks. Released posthumously, the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1s represent the last sneaker designs of Abloh’s storied career.
In January 2022, the first installment of Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 sneakers came to market through Sotheby’s, with a total of 200 pairs offered at auction in an exclusive colorway. In June, the first general release, consisting of 9 covetable Nike Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 styles, finally hit stores. This vivid two-tone iteration features a base of white Monogram-embossed calf leather, accented with red Monogram leather overlays. Released posthumously, the Louis Vuitton Air Force 1s take on added significance, representing the last sneaker designs of Abloh’s storied career.