New York sneaker expo presents some of Virgil Abloh’s last works
Opened on May 21 and running through the end of May, the show presents 47 customized Nike “Air Force 1” sneakers designed by Abloh and assembled at Louis Vuitton’s manufacturing facility in Venice.
A barrier-breaking figure in fashion who rose to become Louis Vuitton’s first Black creative director, Abloh died in November at the age of 41 due to a rare form of cancer.
A close associate of Kanye West, Abloh brought street wear and a less elitist approach to the world of luxury.
The exhibit comes after a February Sotheby’s auction raised $25 million from the sale of some 200 Abloh Air Force One sneakers for a scholarship fund set up in Abloh’s honor to support aspiring designers of Black, African American or African descent.
Each of the sneakers contains the famous Nike swoosh in compositions across the color palette, with some also featuring personalized details such as the flag of Ghana, a tribute to Abloh’s heritage.
Another shoe contains the phrase “tourist vs. purist,” an “Ablohism” that the designer used to describe the relationship in art and culture between the expert/specialist (purist) and the general public audience (tourist).