First there was the Diordan, now there's the Vuitton Force 1. Virgil Abloh's inimitable blending of streetwear and luxury has lead Louis Vuitton to never-before-seen levels of cultural relevance and his latest collection is likely to take arguably the world's biggest fashion house to the stratosphere. Before the debut of Abloh's latest menswear runway show, LV offered a first look at the house's Nike collaboration, giving the sportswear giant's all-time Air Force 1 a monogram makeover.
With 50 forthcoming Dunks already in the works, Abloh can't stay away from the Swoosh. Backstage imagery has revealed a breadth of Nike Air Force 1s remixed with Louis Vuitton's house codes — think monogrammed canvas in rich hues of green, blue, and brown, plus some clean white.
These luxurious sneakers, like Abloh's own collaborative Air Forces, feature offset tongue tags, complete with Louis Vuitton branding, flipped-out tags behind the Swoosh, "AIR" on the midsoles, and even some verbiage on the laces for good measure. Some can be made taller with removable ankle portions, shapeshifting from low to mid-top with ease.
No doubt about it, these shoes have Abloh's handiwork all over 'em. Like much of Abloh's work, these Italian-made sneakers are steeped in bootleg culture, rippling out from Dapper Dan's DIY '80s designs to current-day customs
Even more Swoosh love is to be had elsewhere in the collection, as Nike's signature emblem appears as a luggage tag atop bags, though the collaborative elements are pared back when taken as part of the collection's big-picture homage to sampling and rap. Still, these Nikes reiterate the vision of luxurious streetwear joint efforts that began with Kim Jones' Supreme x Louis Vuitton line.
"A cultural symbol in its own right, today the Nike Air Force 1 serves as an objet d’art emblematic of self-generated subcultural provenance," Vuitton said in its show notes, even referencing "hacking" in place of collaboration. "For Spring-Summer 2022, Virgil Abloh col- laborates with Nike on bespoke Air Force 1s, fusing the trainer’s classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton in homage to the hip-hop culture that shaped him.."