Excitement over Virgil Abloh’s collaboration with Nike has been rapidly building since the reveal of the Air Jordan 1. After many online teases and celebrity cosigns from Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, and more, Nike has finally released the official photos and release date of the entire 10-piece collection.
Dubbed “The Ten,” the project reworks 10 popular sneaker silhouettes and splits them into two themes: the “Revealing” and “Ghosting.” The Revealing pack features exposed details and reconstructed builds of the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and Nike Blazer Mid. The “Ghosting” reworks the Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017, and Nike Air Max 97 with translucent pieces.
Gearing up to be one of the biggest sneaker releases of the year, each piece will likely sell out fast. To help you decide on which pair you should make a B-line for, we ranked the collection from worst to best. Take a look at the list below, and then tell us what your favorite pieces are.
10. Nike React Hyperdunk 2017
This being the newest Nike style to get the “Ghosting” treatment, the Hyperdunk is cushioned by Nike’s newly produced REACT foam which visibly reads “Foam” at the midsole. Where the silhouette really stands out is the addition of a transparent Sock Dart-esque top strap to the Flyknit upper, which gives a visually pleasing polka dot look at the iconic swoosh. Abloh’s rendering of the Hyperdunk 2017 is more of an upgrade than a “reconstructive” build like the rest of the collection, and will surely be breaking necks as you break ankles on the basketball court.
9. Nike Zoom Fly SP
The Nike Zoom VaporFly is a mix of both the “Revealing” and “Ghosting” concept. The model sports a translucent upper and a reconstructed swoosh that gives the best of both worlds of Abloh’s DIY theme. It also stays true to the original model maintaining the cutting-edge cushioning innovation designed, which is labeled as such. Fans will be sprinting faster than Eliud Kipchonge to grab these.
8. Nike Air Force 1 Low
The Air Force 1’s is perhaps the most iconic sneaker of all time, it has seen a countless amount of themed colorways in addition to a long list of collaborations, but somehow Abloh was able to take the famed sneaker in a new direction. “I wanted to make something that stops you from mindlessly scrolling,” he tells Nike. The AF1 features an off-white hue, with a translucent bottom, and re-stitched swoosh. It’s arguably the most minimal design in the pack. As it does stand out from its AF1 counterparts, the subtle concept does not however bring as much “wow factor” as the rest of collection.
7. Nike Blazer Mid
A classic for over 40 years, Abloh gives the Nike Blazer Mid the revamp it deserves. Featuring shades of white and off-white the iconic sneaker keeps its traditional ’70s look while still managing to change with the times with a big and empowering Swoosh, which bleeds onto the midsole. The upper stays true to the “Revealing” concept with a hand-cut, open-source upper for a more contemporary approach. For a Blazer, this arguably one of the boldest iterations ever.
6. Converse Chuck Taylor
Abloh’s Chuck Taylor design takes the “Ghosting” concept to the maximum. The entire upper silhouette is primarily translucent and the bottom features an eye catching “Vulcanized” blue sole that stands out from everything else on this list.
5. Nike Air Max 90
The Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 was a prime example of Abloh’s cut-and-sewn theme. From the upper, to the heel, to the midsole, everything is reconstructed and replaced in different layers. The swoosh now sits on top of the midsole instead of underneath, and the upper features a wired mesh featuring a blue upper with a outsole to match. It’s the most colorful sneaker in the collection blending the on-brand off white hue with a contrasts of blue’s and yellow’s.
4. Nike Air Max 97
The Air Max 97 is commonly known for its 3M reflective piping and minimal branding, but Abloh decide to take the iconic shoe in a new direction. As part of the “Ghosting” series, this pair plays with translucent styling and big branding. This iteration features a much larger swoosh accompanied with Off-White’s signature “AIR” logo. The rigged lines almost appear invisible giving the design amore clean and seamless look.
3. Nike Air VaporMax
Abloh keeps the hype for the most sought after shoe in 2017, the Air VaporMax at an all time high. The huge broken down tongue sets the tone of the deconstructed style accompanied by an oversized Swoosh, and exposed white stitching. Abloh leaves the full-length Air Max cushioning and Flyknit material untouched to keep the shoes popular futuristic and sleek aesthetic. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. This is easily a fan favorite.
2. Nike Air Presto
Blending tradition with renovation is focal point Abloh’s collection, and the Off-White x Nike Air Presto’s are one of his greatest achievements. The shoe’s traditional midfoot cage and air sole heel go mostly untouched, but is surrounded by revamps. The mesh upper has a much more rugged look. The original toe swoosh is relocated to the side and re-sewn. The heel now features an “AIR” strap to help give a more reconstructive look. The shoe dips into the worlds of Nike’s traditional sportswear and Abloh’s contemporary design without a compromise between the two.
1. Air Jordan I
Abloh believes that sneakers “are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa and his approach to the Air Jordan 1s are just that. The blend of sportswear nostalgia and modern influence is on full display on every inch of the design. The iconic “Air Jordan” logo and “Chicago” colorway pay homage to Michael Jordan’s first signature silhouette as well as the designers upbringing the windy city.
However, the reconstructed heel, lace panels, and Swoosh featuring contrast blue and orange stitching gives off an innovative contemporary feel. It’s the most polarizing interpretation of the iconic sneaker to date and serves as one of Abloh’s greatest designs to date. Every sneakerhead will be making a B-line for these.
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- Words by: Kyle Hodge