In undoubtedly one of the most anticipated releases this year, Off-White founder and designer Virgil Abloh has reached into Nike archives to reimagine 10 of the Swoosh’s most iconic sneaker designs.
For the release of this new project, 10 of Nike’s classic designs were mashed together and reconstructed into a collection dubbed “The Ten,” all at the mercy of the no-limits designer.
So how has this collection translated the essence of our generation into footwear?
Collecting memories of growing up with Nike has cleared a pasture of free design for the newest adults of today like Abloh himself. Back when these OG Nike sneakers were released, producing a shoe comparable to Abloh’s reinventions would not have been considered fashion “design.”
Today, we see design and functionality differently.
Virgil plays with this Off-White collaboration by picking apart Nikes with exacto knives, as though he were a child playing the maze on the back of a cereal box: there is no one to tell him he can’t draw outside any line.
“There is room for intellectual thought in streetwear.” – Virgil Abloh
The Ten in the Off-White x Nike collection includes new shoes reincarnated from classic styles like the Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Air Force 1 Low, and Air Max 97. And with what appears as silent homage to Duchamp’s infamous Fountain sculpture, Abloh’s collaboration offers a new take on the significance of labels in art and design.
The collection is made of two parts: “Ghosting” and “Revealing”.
The “Ghosting” half of the collection offers a plethora of re-interpreted designs that pulls together translucent uppers to conjuring a phantasmal look. Combined with the designer’s signature quotation labeling, the reconstruction is fresh and youthful.
The second half of the collection is “Revealing,” a meditation on a falsely candid lifestyle with sneakers broken up and rebuilt to look accessible and hand-cut.
The entire collaboration illustrates the visual consumption of a new generation.
Virgil’s progression from architect to DJ to designer makes him a man of this era — the era of the creative survivor in which we all wear many hats. The designer plays with potential, opening a door and ushering in a new league of artists and influencers.
Ironically, the collection has already been copied. Just like some of the pieces in The Ten, the man with no single label has opened Nike up again to inspire a new generation of future designers.
The collection was pre-released in September 2017 at NikeLab locations in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
See The Ten here, and be sure to check back with us @HOLRMagazine for more fashion news!