Louis Vuitton Opens NYC Exhibit To Celebrate Virgil Abloh’s Nike “Air Force 1”
THIS SUMMER, THE LUXURY FASHION HOUSE WILL LAUNCH NINE EDITIONS OF THE COVETED LOUIS VUITTON AND NIKE “AIR FORCE 1” BY VIRGIL ABLOH.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton – owned brand will showcase a part of Virgil Abloh’s legacy in an exhibition dedicated to the late great men’s artistic director’s long-anticipated collaboration project with American multinational corporation Nike, Inc.
The luxury fashion house next month will launch nine editions of the coveted Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh and is currently accepting preorders ahead of the shoe’s release. Prior to the launch, Vuitton is mounting an exhibition from May 20 through May 31 at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in New York City dedicated to the partnership, with Abloh’s recurring themes and touches serving as a backdrop for the 47 bespoke editions on view. The opening party on May 20 will include a performance by 21 Savage and a DJ set by Jamie xx.
The nine editions that Louis Vuitton selected for in-store release, including all-white, two-tone, black suede, metallic gold and multicolor mid-top and low-top silhouettes, were manufactured in Venice, Italy, in Fiesso d’Artico with the house’s leather, materials and insignia. The editions will retail for 2,000 euro and 2,500 euro in sizes 3.5 to 18.
These sneakers were first presented as a part of the luxury brand’s Spring/Summer 2022 presentation in Paris. The collection is rooted around the “Amen Break,” a drum break in the 1969 song by The Winstons. Abloh compared the now ubiquitous drum break to the Air Force 1 sneaker, a style first introduced in 1982 amid New York City’s bourgeoning hip-hop culture and breakdancing.
“The Air Force 1 is a sample like the ‘Amen Break,’” Abloh said in a quote provided by Louis Vuitton. “A T-shirt is an ‘Amen Break,’ a suit is an ‘Amen Break.’ We’re all iterating on the same ideas. But, in my canon, the Air Force 1 puts the edge on the blade. This object happened way before me, but to get to a context where it’s adjacent to the T-shirt and the suit, its logic has been 40 years in the making.”
Two-hundred exclusive pairs were sold at auction at Sotheby’s in February to benefit the Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund and raised $25.3 million, far eclipsing the $3 million estimate for the lot.
The shoes are set to have a global release through an immersive digital activation, however, prior to the launch, the 47 Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 editions will be on display at a public exhibit to showcase one of the late designer’s final footwear projects. The 46 bespoke pairs were designed by Abloh himself and manufactured in Maison’s Manufacture in Fiesso d’Artico, Venice, Italy. The sneakers meld together Nike’s classic design codes with the house’s finest leather and LV insignia.
The 47 pairs envisioned by Virgil Abloh will be exhibited in multiple installations in New York City and other cities around the world. The exhibit is a nod to Abloh’s ability to bring a one-of-a-kind and holistic spatial experience to all his activations. The exhibit provides a more in-depth view of the sneakers created by the designer. The treehouse constructed pays homage to Abloh’s affinity for the youthful mind, while the inside is recreated to include the exact detailed spaces from the Louis Vuitton studio and atelier he furnished on Rue du Pont-Neuf in Paris.
Take a look at the space below.
Photos Credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton