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Revisiting Virgil Abloh’s Redesign Of 10 Iconic Nike Sneakers

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh teamed up with Nike to release a limited collection of 10 re-imagined footwear classics from the brand’s extensive archive.

Released back in 2017, the collection is an interesting look into the mind of the designer’s eye, who is now on a worldwide whirlwind since the release of this collection, which is why we wanted to take a second look at the line-up.

“I looked at this whole project as passing the baton and doing right by all the innovation, but adding a lifestyle layer to it. These shoes are icons, they’ve transcended into another space, and this project was sort of highlighting what emotional attachment these objects that are just things you wear on your feet can get a second life, where we can look at them in 2017 and understand how important they were in the past.” —Abloh

The designer, who has a masters degree in architecture, believes the decision to re-release these historically successful trainers is indicative of Nike’s large impact on sports, design and beyond.

“What we’re talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture,” said Abloh. “These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa.”

The Ten is the result of what Nike says is one of its fastest collaborations ever, with the 10 shoes designed and produced within 10 months from ideation to release.

The capsule has been split into two halves, Revealing and Ghosting.

Revealing Capsule

Revealing includes new versions of Nike classics such as the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and Nike Blazer Mid. The sneakers have all been reworked by Abloh, with stripped-back with Nike labels and Swooshes cut and resewn in new positions, as well as the addition of red zip ties through the laces.

Ghosting Capsule

The second half of the collection, Ghosting, is made up of Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and Nike Air Max 97.

The five sneakers feature translucent uppers, giving them an ethereal, see-through appearance that inspired the collection’s name.

Inspiration From This Collection

Many of the same design elements for this collection became hallmark features of the designers other collaborations. The same see-through approach from his Revealing capsule, which has been seen in many of his following designs.

Take the clear Rimowa suitcase, which was pretty ironic considering that the exposure of the contents of a suitcase could pose a lot of security and privacy issues.

All in all, this collaboration was worth a revisit just to see the design genius of Abloh at work with some of the most iconic footwear in the world.

“Since nothing is going to
be perfect anyways,
do it on the next one…”

 “…Iterate.
There’s no wrong
answers in design.”
—Abloh

T L D R

Michael Jordan is Abloh’s idol, “he’s more than a basketball player, he’s superman.” 

The collection comprises 10 Nike classics, including the famous Air Jordan’s, recreated and given a new look by the Abloh. 

Abloh designed this collection in two themes, the first being ‘Revealing’comprising pairs of the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and the Nike Blazer Mid. 

As for the second theme, Ghosting, it includes pairs of the Chuck Taylor Converse, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and the Nike Air Max 97.

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