Footwear design goes another notch higher with Virgil Abloh's New Design Project “The Ten.”
The designer has reconstructed 10 Nike footwear icons which challenges the way we look at contemporary footwear. Virgil Abloh’s relationship with Nike began long before he first visited the company’s world headquarters in October 2016. As a teenager, living in Rockford, Illinois, he and his friends came up witn shoe ideas and sketches and sent them to Nike. “We were enamored with Air Jordans,” says Abloh, who is now 36 and based between Milan and Chicago. “Michael Jordan was larger than life — he was Superman to me. My entire design background and ethos came from the ‘90s.”
Abloh's design and culture education diet consisted of athletic footwear, hip-hop and rock album covers and graffiti, he upped the ante by mixing it up with training in architecture and engineering.
Now a successful creative director, DJ, designer and founder of the brand, OFF-WHITE, Abloh pushes te boundaries of footwear and street culture. Giving it a DIY vibe with a healthy dose of humor. “By the time I made my first trip to Beaverton, I immediately wanted to make something,” Abloh says.
This design language, combined with Abloh’s urgency to fulfill a life-long dream, would ultimately lead to The Ten, a collaborative exploration of 10 Nike footwear silhouettes.
“What we're talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture,” says Abloh. “It’s nothing short of state-of-the-art design. These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa. You can debate it all you want, but they mean something. And that's what's important.” “Most of the creative decisions were made in the first three hours.”
The 10 shoes were divided into two themes. The first, “REVEALING,” was designed to look accessible: hand-cut, open-source and reconstructed. It includes the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and Nike Blazer Mid.
The second, “GHOSTING,” was designed with translucent uppers to further the idea of revealing and unite the second set of silhouettes through common material. It includes the Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and Nike Air Max 97.
Here's a closer look at the OFF-WHITE x Air Jordan 1 here.