Virgil Abloh’s relationship to Nike began 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, he says — 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 and injecting humor and DIY elements into his practice.
“By the time I made my first trip to Beaverton, I immediately wanted to make something,” Abloh says. “I didn’t wait all those years just to have meetings at Nike.” During the first visit, he rebuilt a pair of triple-black Air Force 1 Low shoes using an X-ACTO knife and drew on them with markers, initiating one-offs for his staff to wear at that December’s Design Miami/, where he presented OFF-WHITE furniture. Establishing this reconstructed design language, combined with Abloh’s urgency to fulfill a life-long dream, would ultimately lead to The Ten, a collaborative exploration of 10 Nike footwear silhouettes.
The 10 shoes were 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.
Virgil Abloh x Nike The Ten Collection Release Date
The first five icons of The Ten — the Air Jordan 1, Nike Blazer, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air Max 90 and Nike Air VaporMax — will be pre-released at NikeLab stores in New York City (Sept. 9-13), London (Sept. 18-22), Milan (Sept. 21-25) and Paris (Sept. 26-30).
The full collection including all ten silhouettes will be available in November at NikeLab stores and select retailers worldwide.
For more details on the Virgil Abloh x Nike “The Ten” Collection, head over to Nike.