Louis Vuitton

This story was published on May 17 and updated on July 19.

Brand: Louis Vuitton x Nike

Model: Air Force 1

Release Date: July 19

Price: $2,750

Buy: Online at Louis Vuitton's website and at select LV stores (VIP clients have already been in touch with LV staff)

Editor's Notes: Louis Vuitton is gearing up for a drop of monumental proportions. On July 19, the French maison will release its Virgil Abloh-designed Nike Air Force 1 to the public.

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One of Nike's most recognizable models, the AF1 has become an enduring cultural touchstone.

The sneaker's continued relevance between the spheres of fashion, music, and art makes it the perfect canvas for an Abloh-engineered remix, which rolled out in several stages.

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First, Louis Vuitton auctioned off the Air Force 1 sneaker in a multimillion dollar sale that then saw the much-hyped exclusive colorways flipping for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To further tease the drop, Louis Vuitton brought all 47 editions of Abloh's AF1 to a late May exhibition in New York City.

Featuring a recreation of the designer's studio and atelier, the show paid homage to the late Abloh's legacy while educating viewers on the savoir faire behind each handcrafted shoe.

Expanding the impact of the exhibition, Louis Vuitton then erected pop-up installations throughout the Big Apple at Domino Park, Grand Central, South Street Seaport, Astor Place, Columbus Circle, Flatiron Plaza, and Gansevoort Plaza that further hyped the collab.

In early June, pre-orders for the AF1 opened to select Louis Vuitton clients.

And on July 19, nine editions of Louis Vuitton's Air Force 1 released online to the public, each priced between $2,750 and $3,450, with an in-store drop reportedly in the works.

First revealed at Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2022 menswear show, the sneakers are emblematic of Abloh's merging of "high" luxury and "low" culture.

Embossed with Louis Vuitton's monogram, outfitted in Damier-checked leather, and emblazoned with the typical Nike "AIR" across the midsole, the revamped sneakers hit on multiple levels by both being an object of sheer luxury and referencing the cover of It Takes Two by DJ E-Z Rock.

Immortalized in the single's artwork is a pair of Dapper Dan's DIY Air Force 1 sneakers customized with LV-monogrammed Swooshes, a prelude to the official non-bootleg cooked up by Abloh and Louis Vuitton.

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Even if you're not in the market for a pair of $3,000 collectible sneakers, the drop is all but guaranteed to echo throughout an industry still celebrating Abloh's inimitable legacy.

Whether you cop the collaboration or ogle it from afar, they're an emphatic reminder that "VIRGIL WAS HERE."

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