S otheby's is proud to present The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh, a special global online auction of the highly coveted Nike x Louis Vuitton “Air Force 1" presented in an exclusive Louis Vuitton pilot case in orange Taurillon Monogram leather (exclusive to this auction). Proceeds of this auction shall benefit The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, an organization that aims to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.
The auction marks the first-ever release of the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1" by Virgil Abloh created for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Collection. Prior to his passing on 28 November 2021, the Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director was involved in the early organization of the auction and its surrounding events. The auction will take place in association with his family.
A total of 200 pairs of the Nike “Air Force 1” – originally created for the Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer 2022 Men’s Collection – is being made available in an exclusive colorway and a range of sizes.
Starting from the launch of the auction, the shoes and the pilot case will be exhibited at Sotheby’s New York. Visitors are welcome to view the exhibit free of charge, and can make an appointment to do so through our reservation page.
The Nike Air Force 1 was designed in 1982 and is one of the most successful shoes ever created. On the album It Takes Two from 1988, DJ E-Z Rock was immortalized wearing a Nike Air Force 1 basketball trainer altered by Dapper Dan with a swoosh adorned in the Louis Vuitton monogram. The cover embodied the hip-hop community’s early practice of hacking together high fashion and sportswear, side-lining diverging brands with equal reverence. A cultural symbol in its own right, today the Nike Air Force 1 serves as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance. For Spring-Summer 2022, Virgil Abloh collaborated with Nike on bespoke Air Force 1s, fusing the trainer’s classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton in homage to the hip-hop culture that shaped him.
A cultural symbol in its own right, today the Nike Air Force 1 serves as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance.
In total, Virgil Abloh designed 47 pairs of the Nike “Air Force 1” for the Louis Vuitton 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 were styled with his signature quotation marks, echoing the written graphics Abloh used to adorn the shoes. The individual style designed for the show were made by Louis Vuitton in its shoe manufacture in Fiesso d’Artico.
Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund
In July 2020, Virgil Abloh created the The Virgil Abloh™ “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund in partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund. Launched on a $1 million donation by Virgil Abloh and partners Evian, Farfetch, Louis Vuitton, New Guards Group, and Nike, its mission statement is to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent. Virgil Abloh named the fund “Post-Modern” to signify that recipients will receive not only funds but also ongoing career-support services and mentoring through the FSF. “Post-Modern” Scholars are selected each year from FSF’s network of 66+ colleges and universities across the U.S., including eight HBCUs, through the annual FSF Scholarship Competition.