Louis Vuitton is officially launching more versions of its coveted Nike Air Force 1 sneaker designed by late artistic director Virgil Abloh. Nine editions of the shoe will release in June, with members of LV’s community being offered first pick via preorder. White and black low-tops, multicolored iterations, and classic two-tone makeups are among the Air Force 1 pairs available.
Just earlier this year, a limited run of Abloh’s first Louis Vuitton Air Force 1 was auctioned at Sotheby’s, with the highest-selling pair fetching a whopping $352,800. A total of 200 pairs were listed, and more than 150 pairs sold for $100,000 or more each. While the upcoming pairs likely won’t reach the same resale value, you can still expect an extreme markup on the secondary market.
The ultimate grail — Each Air Force 1 has been upgraded with Louis Vuitton’s quality Italian leather and signature insignia. The nine editions selected for the upcoming release include low-tops retailing for ~$2,100 and mid-tops for ~$2,600, both of which will be available in men’s sizes from 3.5 to 18.
A classic all-white Air Force 1, embossed with the Louis Vuitton Monogram, will be offered alongside a similar pair done up in black suede. Two-tone editions of the sneaker, which feature a white base accented by either green, red, or blue, will also be up for grabs. The trio of colorful sneakers pays tribute to Abloh’s preference for primary colors throughout his work at Louis Vuitton.
To further honor the late artistic director, a metallic gold sneaker nods to Abloh’s debut collection for Louis Vuitton, while patchwork iterations celebrate his distinct graphic language. The final pair is guaranteed to be the most coveted and comes dressed in a Damier print and a “Louis Vuitton” graffiti motif created by artist Ghusto Leon.
According to Louis Vuitton, the collaboration will be released to the public via an inclusive digital activation next month, although specific details about the launch have yet to be shared.
Experience Abloh’s design process — The sneakers’ release will follow an exhibition from May 20 to 31 that showcases all 47 editions of the Air Force 1 imagined by Abloh. The showing, officially titled “Louis Vuitton and Nike ‘Air Force 1’ by Virgil Abloh,” will be held at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn. Both physical and virtual aspects make up the exhibition, including 3D-printed statues akin to the ones Virgil Abloh built during his tenure at Louis Vuitton, holographic displays animating the Air Force 1s, and a treehouse.
A number of corresponding art installations will be placed throughout New York City to further honor Abloh’s legacy. During the run of the exhibition, large glass boxes will be placed around New York City, displaying graphic globe sculptures tied to the themes of the showcase. The installations can be experienced at Domino Park, Grand Central, South Street Seaport, Astor Place, Columbus Circle, Flatiron Plaza, and Gansevoort Plaza, with a goal to “unify” the city. According to Louis Vuitton, Abloh’s work was, “above all, about humanity and unity.”