Model: Air Force 1 Mid
Release: Spring 2022
Editor's Notes: Virgil Abloh has rendered the Air Force 1 hardly recognizable.
The designer just confirmed his next Off-White™ x Nike venture by re-posting a leaked image of the collab.
"Off-White™ c/o @Nike is a studio," Abloh captioned the post. "The shoes are a mere by-product of trying to define a larger idea of why shoes are technically meaningful, emotional & relevant. etc."
The Air Force 1 Mid is an entirely classic model, instantly identifiable even from a distance. Oddly, Abloh's take on the silhouette convolutes the iconic sneaker with fussy add-ons and detailing.
Part of the AF1's charm lies in its clean lines and stark, tonal colorways. Instead of retaining the shoe's no-frills upper, Abloh renders it with dual prints and textures.
Combining the dual-printed upper with a criss-cross lacing system, neon-accented midsole, track spikes at the toe, and Off-White's signature sans serif branding, the streetwear icon opts for heavy-handed detailing that ultimately muddles the sneaker.
Though Abloh keeps the Mid's trademark ankle strap intact, he adds on a heel pull tab and erases Nike's "AIR" branding at the midsole, seemingly small tweaks that make the style look more like a running sneaker than a basketball shoe.
Granted, some of these details are nods to Virgil's past Nike sneakers. The all-caps text is a consistent feature across his oeuvre, and the zig-zag laces carry over from Off-White's Nike Dunk Low. Even the spiky midsole bears resemblance to the Off-White x Nike Waffle Racer.
I'm all for cohesiveness, but Abloh was much more successful at revamping the Air Force 1 Low. Instead of warping the shoe with futuristic accents, he kept things sleek with choice touches such as his signature zip-tie tag.
Abloh isn't exactly known for subtlety, so perhaps this Air Force 1 Mid shouldn't come as such as surprise.
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