Virgil’s shoes to initiate the new renaissance

Published January 26, 2022, 3:30 AM

by Jules Vivas

And how you could grab a pair of the Louis Vuitton and Nike ‘Air Force 1’ by Virgil Abloh

Virgil Abloh had made a profound mark in the sneaker world with his culture-shifting designs, which gave way for him to become one of the most influential designers of this generation. The former creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear might have passed away last year but his ingenious works remain as relevant as ever. In fact, his last masterpiece recently resurfaced with the exclusive colorway set to be auctioned via Sotheby’s.

If the renaissance period had Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, today’s new renaissance era has the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh, one of best fusions of haute couture and streetwear to ever exist—at least according to the experts of the sneaker industry.

First teased on the Louis Vuitton “Amen Break” runway in the summer of 2021, this collaboration broke the internet and generated a buzz among sneaker enthusiasts. In June last year, 47 pairs of the classic basketball-turned-lifestyle silhouette debuted.

The kicks capture the signature details from its collaborators Louis Vuitton, Nike, and Virgil Abloh. There’s the quality leather as well as the iconic Nike Swoosh on the sides, brown monogram, and the Damier graphics on the upper from LV. Abloh’s Helvetica double quotes, meanwhile, appear on the midsole, laces, and tongue. Featured on the creamy laces is the quoted “Lacet” (French for shoelace) in dark brown text, while “AIR” prints are on the midsoles.

Only 200 pairs will launch through the British-founded American multinational corporation, Sotheby. Each pair was individually crafted in Fiesso d’Artico, Italy.

The auction runs until Feb. 8. Bidding starts at $2,000 (₱102,500). All proceeds will go to The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund that aims to support the education of Black, African-American, and African students.

The birth of ‘sneakerhead culture’ has been attributed to this line of Nike’s Air shoes released in 1985.

Each pair comes in a dedicated Taurillon leather pilot case in vibrant orange, replete with the LV branding embossed throughout. The box has a white Swoosh hangtag on the handles. It has the classic S lock closure in white metal finishing, and a luggage tag in the shape of Swoosh. The pilot case adapts to each shoe size based on an internal cushion system and will be exclusive to the auction.

The shoes and its pilot case will be on view at Sotheby’s New York in a free, public exhibition open throughout the bidding, which starts today, Jan 26.

The Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” by Vigil Abloh is a fitting “new awakening” for the sneaker world considering that the birth of sneaker collecting or what is called the “sneakerhead culture” can be attributed to the success of Nike’s Air line of shoes released in 1985. It is one of the most successful shoes ever created, serving as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance.

Louis Vuitton has intentions of showcasing the 47 Nike “Air Force 1” by Virgil Abloh installments in a pop-up exhibition, along with conducting a commercial drop of more colorways, both of which will occur at a later date.

Sotheby’s has a longstanding track record of auctioning the rarest, most desirable sneakers and holds the world auction record for any pair of sneakers.