Virgil Abloh and Nike's "The Ten" collaboration was the biggest sneaker event of 2017, with Highsnobiety readers voting Abloh the most influential person of the year and electing his Nike Air Jordan 1 "Chicago" design the best sneaker of 2017 in our annual Highsnobiety Crowns.
The Off-White™ "The Ten" project included sneakers from Nike as well as Nike-owned brands Converse and Jordan. From late October to early November in 2017, the first releases were split into two packs of five. The “REVEALING” pack contained the Off-White™ Nike Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, Air Presto, Air VaporMax, and Blazer Mid. The “GHOSTING” pack included an Off-White™ Nike Air Max 97, React Hyperdunk, Air Force 1, Zoom Vaporfly, and Converse Chuck Taylor All Star.
"It’s larger than design culture," said Abloh at the time. "These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as the sculpture of David or the Mona [Lisa]. You can debate it all you want, but they mean something."
The collaboration was teased on Instagram months ahead of its release, leaving sneakerheads hotly anticipating the deconstructed kicks' release dates after they were heavily cosigned on social media by the likes of A$AP Rocky, Drake, Kim Jones, and even Naomi Campbell.
Senior Swoosh staff such as senior design director Nate Jobe and VP of footwear design Andy Caine were heavily involved in the project from the beginning, working with Abloh to realize his designs. Caine himself participated in "OFF-CAMPUS" events held in North America and Europe, where guests including Bloody Osiris, Tremaine Emory, and others talked about the cultural importance of the collaboration.
Limited merchandise was available at "OFF-CAMPUS," including T-shirts and tote bags. You can find footage from the events on YouTube.
To supplement the collection, Nike and Abloh also released a comprehensive 258-page book, documenting Abloh's design process and revealing key facts about each of the shoes in the collaboration. You can find a digital version of that book here.
In early 2020, famed designer Hiroshi Fujiwara revealed that the collection was initially intended to include designs from himself as well as Abloh, creating pack that included shoes designed by Fujiwara and Abloh. "We had kind of started doing… maybe he did ten, and I was supposed to do ten. But, [he] kind of won the game, and I lost it," said Fujiwara. "The thing he did was beautiful, and I understand why everyone goes crazy about it. So, I’m a loser this time."
Scroll on for more details about each silhouette in the collaboration as it developed from 2017 onwards.
Nike x Off-White™ releases
Off-White™x Nike Air Jordan 1
Abloh’s Air Jordan 1 design could be considered the flagship of the pack. Speaking about himself and his childhood friends, Abloh said, “We were enamored with Air Jordans. Michael Jordan was larger than life — he was Superman to me. My entire design background and ethos came from the ’90s.” Speaking about the design itself, Abloh noted, “The Jordan 1 was done in one design session. I work in a very dream-like state. I see it and it’s done.”
The shoe features “AIR” typography on the midsole, as well as an orange hit on the heel, which seems to imitate a price sticker. The lateral Swoosh also appears to be pinned to the upper instead of fully stitched. Abloh penned individual slogans like “AIR FLACKO” for A$AP Rocky and “AIR CANADA” for Drake on the midsole of pairs gifted to celebrity friends.
For two years in a row, Abloh wore his Air Jordan 1 designs to the Met Gala in New York City, rocking the "Chicago" version in 2017 and then lacing up the "UNC" colorway in 2018.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1
According to Nike, Abloh rebuilt a pair of triple-black Air Force 1 Low shoes during his first visit to the brand’s Beaverton campus. He used an X-ACTO knife to dissect the shoes and markers to draw on them, and then gifted the sneakers to Off-White™ staff to wear. “By the time I made my first trip to Beaverton, I immediately wanted to make something,” Abloh said.
“In my brain, I’ve seen every iteration or color of an Air Force One. So where does that leave you?” he added in GQ. “I wanted to make something that stops you from mindlessly scrolling."
Abloh's "GHOSTING" Air Force 1 design was released in Berlin via a Nike SNKRS scavenger hunt, wherein SNKRS app users could use an augmented reality feature to unlock and purchase the shoe.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 90
While the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1 align more with what we know about Abloh’s personal sneaker taste, the Off-White™ Air Max 90 came as a bit of a surprise. The same design story continued here, with Nike’s Beaverton address shown prominently on the lateral side, along with “SHOELACE” text again. Abloh gifted a pair to his DJ mentor Benji B, among others.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Presto
Our first decent glimpse of the remade Presto came courtesy of A$AP Nast on Instagram, before Frank Ocean wore the kicks during music festival Panorama NYC. The sneaker subscribed to the same reconstructed design methodology we'd seen already, with Abloh again throwing in some guerilla “AWGE” and “NAST” customizations for good measure.
Off-White™x Nike Air VaporMax
The VaporMax was Nike’s big technology story of 2017, so it was no surprise to see the model become part of “The Ten.” This version featured a heel tab, chunky stitching around the Swoosh, and touches like the orange price tag detail and shipping address text.
Off-White™ x Nike Blazer Mid
On the Off-White™ Nike Blazer Mid, the Swoosh was once again exaggerated, extending to the shoe’s midsole. Speaking to The Business of Fashion, Abloh explained, “That shoe exemplifies making a product interesting by only changing a design element by 3 percent. The Swoosh logo of that shoe overlaps the sole without it detracting away from the iconography, which makes it more interesting and wearable."
A pair of the sneakers with sample tags was originally leaked by Huffington Post contributor Michael Tommasiello.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 97
Released 20 years after the OG model, Abloh's Air Max 97 came as an "Ultra" version, with a seamless one-piece upper and lightweight fit.
Off-White™ x Nike React Hyperdunk
According to Nike, “Abloh was inspired by the cutting-edge cushioning innovations of Breaking2’s Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite running shoe and basketball’s React Hyperdunk 2017, and decided to introduce an evolution of the reveal called “GHOSTING” using translucent uppers.”
Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Vaporfly SP
The Nike Zoom Vaporfly silhouette was first shown as part of Nike’s Breaking2 initiative. It has a carbon fiber plate in the sole, providing a rebound effect to improve response while running.
In September 2017, Abloh sat down with Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge to discuss stamina, innovation, and the overlap between fashion and running. In the summer of 2017, Kipchoge nearly ran a record-breaking marathon wearing the ZoomX Vaporfly Elite. A year later, he smashed the marathon world record in the Zoom Vaporfly 4%.
Off-White™ x Converse Chuck Taylor All Star
The Nike x Off-White™ project folded in sub-brand Converse by including OG basketball silhouette the Chuck Taylor All Star. The high-top silhouette received the Off-White™ treatment, with “VULCANIZED” text on the sole, "SHOELACES" on the laces, and an Off-White™ zip-tie.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1 "AF100" (ComplexCon exclusive)
This reworked Air Force 1 silhouette was part of an “AF100” pack created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Air Force 1 in 2017. The other sneakers in the pack were designed by Don C, Travis Scott, ACRONYM’s Errolson Hugh, and Roc-A-Fella. Abloh's edition was released exclusively at the second annual ComplexCon in Long Beach, California.
MoMA x Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1
To celebrate the opening of the "Items: Is Fashion Modern?" exhibition, NYC's Museum of Modern Art linked up with Nike and Abloh to drop a new collaborative Air Force 1. Making its first appearance at Miami Art Basel 2016, the all-black Air Force 1 came out through the MoMA Design Store with limited-edition socks.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 1 "White" (EU exclusive)
Following up the original "Chicago" version, a white Air Jordan 1 arrived in March as a European exclusive. The shoe showcased the same design ethos as Abloh's first Air Jordan 1, featuring an adjusted color scheme and a blue zip-tie in place of the standard red version. The white colorway also appeared in Abloh's FW18 Off-White™ runway show in Paris.
Off-White™ x Nike Air VaporMax "Black"
Continuing to push the VaporMax in 2018, Nike and Abloh tweaked the original version to create this black colorway, which dropped in March after being seen extensively on Abloh's feet.
Off-White™ x Nike Mercurial Vapor 360
In the run up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Virgil Abloh designed a pair of Mercurial Vapor 360 boots that were worn on-pitch by PSG star Kylian Mbappe. The shoes dropped in highly limited numbers on March 31, 2018.
Off-White™ x Nike Air VaporMax "White"
Yet another follow-up came in mid-April, when a clean white version hit shelves, marking the third collaborative VaporMax from Nike x Off-White™.
Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit
In June 2018, Abloh and Nike unveiled the crown piece of their World Cup collaboration: the Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit. Instead of dropping just one pair, Abloh gave us two Off-White™ Nikes: one in black with white and blue detailing, and the other in an eye-catching orange with white and blue detailing.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 1 "UNC"
The third Air Jordan 1 to be worked on by Abloh, this iteration came in University of North Carolina colors, where Michael Jordan honed his craft before making the jump to the NBA.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Presto “Black”
After Abloh and Nike brought back the Air VaporMax in 2018, the duo decided to release alternate versions of another original “The Ten” silhouette: the Air Presto. The first release was the triple-black colorway with white detailing.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Presto “White”
Following the black model, the white Air Presto came exactly a week later. Both Prestos had been rumored for quite some time and, when officially announced, went straight to the top of sneakerheads’ “must cop” lists. The white version proved to be popular with sneaker customizers, with Highsnobiety deeming it the most customizable sneaker of 2018.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 97 “QUEEN”
The sneaker is part of a collection that comprises three sneakers as well as tennis apparel. Initially available through exclusive access, Nike SNKRS surprise-dropped the kicks after Williams’ opening US Open match in 2018. It features the same gradient midsole as the Blazer Mid from the same pack.
Off-White™ x Nike Blazer Mid “Grim Reaper”
Unlike the Air VaporMax or Air Presto, both new colorways of the Blazer Mid came out on the same day. Following a Halloween theme, the black colorway was named “Grim Reaper” by Abloh. This version effectively flipped the original look, offering a darker alternative to 2017’s release.
Off-White™ x Nike Blazer Mid “All Hallows Eve”
The second part of the “Spooky Pack,” as it has been dubbed, was the vanilla/orange “All Hallows Eve” Blazer Mid. This colorway was first modeled by Bloody Osiris at Paris Fashion Week and was confirmed by Abloh soon after. Previous leaks had the pack dropping in early September, but an early October release brought the pack closer in line with its Halloween theme.
Off-White™ x Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star ’70s
This particular release was the second Off-White™ x Converse sneaker to be released and took a much more traditional approach to the design (albeit with signature Off-White™ elements, such as the stripes on the midsole). A white canvas upper featured Off-White™ co-branding.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 97 “Menta”
The next two Off-White™ Nikes were originally rumored for release in November 2018, so it came as a surprise when they were officially announced by the Off-White™ Instagram in October and dropped shortly afterward. The “Menta” edition was listed on European Nike SNEAKRS accounts and available through raffles at various Off-White™ flagships worldwide, with the majority coming out outside of North America.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 97 “Black”
Unlike the “Menta” version, which, despite being predominantly a non-North American release, was available at Off-White™ NYC and Toronto flagships, the black colorway was a North America exclusive. It was available only through the US Nike page and the Toronto and New York flagships, giving customers in those locations the chance to win both in a raffle.
The sneaker followed the original 2017 Air Max 97 and was yet another release that strayed from the straight black/white theme Abloh had developed with his VaporMax and Air Prestos.
Off-White™ x Nike Blazer Mid “Queen”
This co-branded Blazer Mid with a pink gradient sole was unveiled as part of Serena Williams’ Virgil Abloh-designed “QUEEN” collection. The design is considered to be one of Abloh’s most daring colorways on a Nike sneaker yet, mainly owing to its eye-catching midsole.
Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Fly “Black”
The "Black" and “Tulip Pink” Zoom Flys became the third Abloh-designed versions of the shoe when they dropped in late November 2018. As with the Air Max 97 pack before it, the Zoom Fly pack strayed from the straight black/white theme.
Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Fly “Tulip Pink”
The “Tulip Pink” Zoom Fly was a real statement piece. Like its 2017 predecessor, it made use of a translucent upper. The other prominent 2018 sneaker to feature a translucent upper was Nike's highly popular React Element 87.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1 “Black/White”
Abloh’s Air Force 1 pack was the last collaborative release of 2018 and came out just before the holiday period, giving sneakerheads another chance to secure a pair from “The Ten.”
Shortly after the release, Abloh took to Instagram to confirm that his Nike x Off-White™ “The Ten” collaboration was coming to an end and that he is “visually obsessed” with the black sneaker and white Swoosh/laces combination, explaining why so many of his 2018 releases featured black/white iterations of "The Ten" models.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1 “Volt”
The other pair of Off-White™ Nikes to drop as part of 2018’s Air Force 1 pack was this eye-catching "Volt" colorway. Volt has long been a color of choice for Nike, and in recent times has become popular at fashion weeks and among the more fashion-conscious in general. As one of Nike’s most iconic silhouettes, the Air Force 1 drop was highly anticipated and sold out everywhere.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 90 “Bright Mango”
The Air Max 90 pack saw a bold beige/mango colorway drop alongside a more muted black/white iteration (below). While Abloh is likely to continue his Nike x Off-White™ work and release co-branded sneakers, “The Ten” officially came to an end with this release.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Max 90 “Black/White”
Having been teased and leaked for months beforehand, an interesting detail on Abloh's last "The Ten" sneaker is the serial number on the heel, which suggests the Air Max 90 was originally planned for the 2018 holiday season. Instead, the Air Force 1 ended up coming out during that time, pushing the Air Max 90 into 2019.
Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5
The Off-White™ x Nike Zoom Terra Kiger 5 came in three colorways and was part of Virgil Abloh’s first-ever women’s collection for Nike. The collection took on a track & field theme and includes several other silhouettes previewed at Paris Fashion Week SS19 that have yet to drop.
Off-White™ x Nike Air Force 1 “MCA”
Previously believed to be dropping at the June 10 opening of Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the above all-blue Air Force 1 was available exclusively at ComplexCon Chicago before dropping in the Windy City via Nike’s SNKRS app. Highly limited, this is the second AF1 Abloh has designed as part of what could become an ongoing museum series.
Off-White™ x Nike Vapor Street
Off-White™ x Nike Waffle Racer
Off-White™ x Nike Dunk Low
Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 5
Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 4
Where to buy Nike x Off-White™
Sneakers from Abloh and Nike's collaboration are globally available at select stockists, with the exception of regional-exclusive models. Key Nike x Off-White™ retailers include the following:
Nike x Off-White™ resale prices
While many sneakerheads unboxed their pairs straight away, opting to rock them, there were plenty of people looking to flip the sneakers for a profit. The value of the original "The Ten" sneakers skyrocketed, while the resale prices of the 2018 collaborations vary.
Below we analyze the resale market for Virgil Abloh’s Nike collaborations, with data sorted by market share and prices over time. The data is an aggregate of deadstock sneaker sales from StockX. Check out the results below, with data courtesy of our friends at StockX and illustrations by Dan Freebairn.
September 2017 releases
Nine of “The Ten” were released in 2017, with the Converse Chuck Taylor the only original silhouette to see a 2018 release. Of those nine, five dropped in September, including the Air Max 90, Air VaporMax, Air Jordan 1 “Chicago,” Blazer Mid, and Air Presto.
The above chart tracks the average resale price of each of those sneakers since their first release through to July 2018. It’s clear that certain models, such as the Air Jordan 1 and Air Presto, perform better than others on the resale market. Of the five sneakers, three cracked an average price of $1,000. These are the “Chicago” Air Jordan 1, Air Presto, and Air VaporMax.
You can see a pattern in the data with each of the five sneakers, with resale prices starting high, dipping after a couple of months, before rising even higher.
The perfect example of this pattern is the “Chicago” Air Jordan 1, which resold for an average $2,019 upon release in September 2017. Its price dipped to a low of $1,285 three months later, but the figures show MJ later rediscovered his hang-time, with the sneaker leaping over its original average resale price to hit a peak of $2,339 in May 2018 before settling at $2,206 in July 2018.
Of the five September 2017 sneakers, the “Chicago” Air Jordan 1 was sold for the highest price as of July 2018, clocking an overall average resale price of $1,591.
November 2017 releases
Four more sneakers from the original “The Ten” collection followed in November 2017 and they were joined by the all-white ComplexCon-exclusive “AF100” Air Force 1. The chart above tracks the average resale prices over time to July 2018. Only two sneakers crack the $1,000 mark, both Air Force 1s.
The ComplexCon Air Force 1 is by far the most valuable, hitting an average resale price of $2,000 in July 2018. We can see a clear pattern in which the sneakers’ average resale prices dip after the first month before picking up again and soaring after several months. Of the two Air Force 1s, the one from “The Ten” saw the most consistent growth, whereas its silver-Swooshed “AF100” counterpart fluctuated slightly from month to month, falling in value from February to April 2018 before shooting back up again.
Compared with the September 2017 releases, the November 2017 “The Ten” sneakers, although still expensive, are generally lagging behind in terms of average resale prices. This could speak to the popularity of the earlier models or it could mean that the later kicks were more widely available, keeping prices lower. Either way, if you managed to scoop any pair at retail price, you will be sitting on a very healthy appreciation in value.
With the release dates staggered among the first eight models to come out in 2018, it’s harder to track the shoes' performance in comparison with one another. Regardless, every release was reselling for well above retail price as of July 2018.
The two most valuable sneakers on the chart above are the white Air Jordan 1 and MoMA-exclusive black-and-silver-Swooshed Air Force 1. The latter was released in January 2018 and appreciated from an average resale value of $1,080 at release to $1,780 in July 2018, peaking at $2,000 in June and becoming the only 2018 sneaker to join last year's “Chicago” Air Jordan 1 and “AF100” Air Force 1 in the $2,000 club. The former dropped in March 2018 and its price steadily increased from an original average of $1,736 to $1,890 in July 2018.
Interestingly, these first eight 2018 releases don’t seem to follow the same pattern as the earlier kicks, wherein there was a high initial resale price followed by a short decline, before shooting up past the original resale price. Although the data is still limited, the “UNC” Air Jordan 1 is an example of this. At release in May 2018, resale prices were $1,020. But two months later, the sneaker’s value had fallen by nearly 25 percent to $775.
At the time this data was collated, it was still too early to judge how the two Zoom Fly Mercurial Flyknit colorways would do, having only been out since June 2018. But at the time they were by far the least expensive of all the Off-White™ x Nike sneakers on the resale market. Overall, according to this data, Air Jordans sell for the highest average price, clocking in at an overall average resale price of $849 for the “UNC” version, $1,591 for the “Chicago” iteration, and $1,765 for the all-white colorway.
Upcoming Nike x Off-White™ releases
Off-White™ x Nike Air Jordan 5 "White"
Thus far only teased by Abloh, a white pair of the Jordan 5 seems to be an accompaniment of the first black pair.
If you want to know more about the Off-White™ x Nike releases, watch the video below.
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