Nike x Virgil Abloh ‘The Ten’ Collaboration
As a teenager Virgil Abloh and his friends would sketch ideas for sneakers and send them to Nike. “We were enamored with Air Jordans,” says Abloh, now 36 and based between Milan and Chicago. “Michael Jordan was larger than life, he was Superman to me. My entire design background and ethos came from the ‘90s.” Virgil Abloh’s relationship with Nike started long before he first visited the company’s world headquarters in October 2016 to start a new collaboration.
Abloh took his early design education, drawn from athletic footwear, hip-hop and rock album covers and graffiti, and merged it with formal training in architecture and engineering. Now a successful creative director, DJ, designer and founder of the brand, Off-White, Abloh blurs the lines of various creative processes, rewriting the rules of fashion and design, as seen in this upcoming collection. Establishing this reconstructed design language, combined with Abloh’s need to fulfill his life-long dream, ultimately lead to the creation of ‘The Ten’, a collaborative exploration of 10 Nike sneaker silhouettes.
The 10 shoes are divided into two themes. The first, “REVEALING,” was designed to look accessible: hand-cut, open-source and reconstructed. It includes the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and Nike Blazer Mid. The second, “GHOSTING,” was designed with translucent uppers to further the idea of revealing and unite the second set of silhouettes through common material. It includes the Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and Nike Air Max 97.
Nike Air Max 90 x Virgil Abloh
Nike Air VaporMax x Virgil Abloh
Nike Air Presto xVirgil Abloh
Air Jordan 1 x Virgil Abloh
Nike Blazer x Virgil Abloh
Nike Air Force 1 Low x Virgil Abloh
Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 x Virgil Abloh
Nike Zoom Vaporfly x Virgil Abloh
Converse Chuck Taylor x Virgil Abloh
Nike Air Max 97 x Virgil Abloh
The ‘Revealing’ Collection of The Ten; the Air Jordan I, the Nike Blazer, the Nike Air Presto, the Nike Air Max 90 and the Nike Air VaporMax will be pre-released at NikeLab stores in:
New York City (Sept. 9-13) – NikeLab 21M, DSM
London (Sept. 18-22) – NikeLab 1948, DSM
Milan (Sept. 21-25) – NikeLab ST18
Paris (Sept. 26-30) – NikeLab P75
The full Collection of The Ten will launch worldwide in November at NikeLab stores and other select retailers.
The open-source nature of The Ten, through a reconstruction of footwear released by Converse, Inc. since 1923, and Nike, Inc. from 1972 to the present, speaks to the true longevity of shoes that have defined sport and sneaker culture. They’ve stood the test of time, and through The Ten, have become collective catalysts from which to understand not just footwear design, but all design.