Fashion designer Virgil Abloh continues to make a mark on fashion even after his passing. (The Off-White founder and men’s artistic director of Louis Vuitton died on Nov. 28, 2021. He was 41.) Prior to his death, the talented visionary was involved in organizing a special auction to benefit the Black community and now, Louis Vuitton is carrying out his wishes. On Jan. 26, the luxury fashion house will partner with Sotheby’s to auction off 200 pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 sneakers by Virgil Abloh. (Bidding ends on Feb. 8.) The unique kicks are part of Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2022 Mens Collection.
The proceeds will benefit The Virgil Abloh “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund. (The organization partners with the Fashion Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of talented Black, African American, or African descent students.) The 200 pairs of Air Force 1 sneakers will range from sizes 5 to 18 and have a starting bid of $2,000 on sothebys.com. This Nike style already has a massive celebrity following, but the Abloh version will be a one-of-a-kind collector’s item.
The shoes are composed of calf leather, with Louis Vuitton’s signature brown monogram dotting the entire shoe. The beige checkered Damier pattern will be Nike’s check mark logo. Each pair of shoes will also be sold with a Louis Vuitton pilot case, also from the Spring/Summer ‘22 collection. The item was reinterpreted from the fashion house’s archive in an iconic orange color and is made of monogram taurillon leather.
Abloh fans will recognize that the trainers fuse the late designer’s classic codes with the insignia and materials of Louis Vuitton in homage to the hip-hop culture that shaped him. The shoes display Abloh’s signature quotation marks, which echoed the written graphics he used in his work.
On Jan. 19, as a lead-up to the auction, select individuals will receive pairs of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh. The individuals weren’t named in the press statement, but they will be people who inspired Abloh and the collaboration. (These pairs will come in unique colorways and will not be auctioned or later commercialized.)
For those who aren’t able to get their hands on these first 200 pairs of sneakers, you’ll still be able to partake in the special occasion. Louis Vuitton will open an exhibition featuring the original 47 Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh shoes. After this event starts, fans will have the opportunity to purchase the sneakers from limited batches in select Louis Vuitton stores. This launch will feature different colorways to those on auction and will be priced in line with starting bids. Details on all this will be released on a later date, so stay tuned as TZR will update this story once the announcements drop.