SNEAKERS & FASHION

Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Set Heads to Sotheby’s

200 pairs of the brown and tan exclusive will be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting the late designer’s “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund for Black fashion students.

Starting next week, 200 pairs of the Virgil Abloh-designed Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 Low sneaker will be sold online through Sotheby’s. As first reported by WWD, the event runs from Jan. 26th through Feb. 8th, with bids starting at $2,000. Sizes range from US 5 to 18, and each pair is packaged in an exclusive trunk.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit Abloh’s “Post Modern” Scholarship Fund, first launched in 2020 through an initial endowment of $1 million.

The fund benefits Black fashion students with this auction set to kick off a string of related initiatives throughout 2022.

”As a Black designer, I found my way through school, and a mixture of creative projects,” Abloh told WWD prior to his passing in November at age 41. “I had to make a name for myself. That took a lot of years and a lot of meetings and a lot of runway shows and a lot of work, and I wanted to make that door open for a younger generation to sort of have a pathway that stays open.”

Virgil Abloh in Paris, June 2021 (Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

Breaking the glass ceiling for designers of color was long a passion for the late designer. By becoming the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection in 2018 and ascending at LVMH, he did exactly that.

To many, this Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 spoke to just how valiant Virgil was in connecting cultures, breaking boundaries, and paying homage.

For those keeping track at home, the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 was first seen on the feet of Abloh and Louis Vuitton models in June of 2021 at LV’s Spring 2022 presentation in Paris. Earlier this week, a slew of solid color styles — reported to not release — of the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 have been seeded to friends and family of the late Abloh.

However, it was Virgil himself who wore this brown and tan pair at Paris Fashion Week.

Louis Vuitton has noted that the collaboration was inspired by the cover art of Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock’s 1988 album It Takes Two in which shows E-Z Rock is sporting a Dapper Dan designed Nike Air Force 1 Low embellished by LV monogram gracing the Swoosh.

It’s said that Abloh created 47 different variations of the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1, famously featuring Off-White design language in the form of tongue-and-cheek labeling while coinciding in rollout with the 40th anniversary of the Air Force 1 High proper.

Amongst the samples seen in Paris and seeded, a variety of colorways have been presented in both low- and mid-top cuts. According to WWD, Louis Vuitton will stage an exhibition showcasing all of his designs at a later date.

Even more exciting for sneakerheads, it’s also reported that a retail release of select colorways will happen this year at Louis Vuitton retail stores.

This week, the “Virgil Was Here” theme seen at his posthumous presentation in Miami just days after he passed in 2021 will continue to appear in spirit through 2022.

On Jan. 20 at Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton will present Virgil’s Fall 2022 collection, which was understood to be 95% complete at the time of his passing.

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