A Virgil Abloh-created sneaker exhibit opens in New York

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A sculpture of the late Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White and the Men's Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike "Air Force 1" sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton
A sculpture of the late Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off-White and the Men's Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike "Air Force 1" sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP

  • Virgil Abloh's last works are being presented at a New York sneaker expo.
  • 47 pairs of Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1 sneakers will be on exhibition from 21-31 May at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.
  • Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection from 2018 until his death from cancer at age 41.


Late fashion designer Virgil Abloh is being honoured in a New York exhibition featuring 47 pairs of Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1 sneakers he created before his death in November.

Nine shoes on display in the immersive show will be available for purchase in June.

Abloh was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection from 2018 until his death from cancer at age 41.

A replica of the turntable set-up Abloh used as a DJ is featured, along with what organisers call "a magical treehouse symbolic of Virgil's own childhood dreams." Quotes from Abloh, who was also a visual artist, fill the room, with a floor of lights that create atmospheric patterns.

"He was one of a kind," Elle.com Deputy Editor Claire Stern said. "Not just in his creative skill set, but how he broke down barriers in fashion. Racially, socioeconomically, he let people in."

Installations of globes around New York City are promoting the free exhibit, which takes place 21-31 May at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.

A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition show
A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike ”Air Force 1” sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton May 20, 2022 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.
A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition show
A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike ”Air Force 1” sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton May 20, 2022 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.
A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition show
A pair of shoes during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike ”Air Force 1” sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton May 20, 2022 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.
Shoes on display during a immersive exhibition sho
Shoes on display during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 Shoes on display during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike ”Air Force 1” sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton May 20, 2022 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn
A pair of shoes on display during a immersive exhi
A pair of shoes on display during a immersive exhibition showcasing 47 limited editions of the Nike ”Air Force 1” sneaker created by Virgil Abloh in partnership with Nike for Louis Vuitton May 20, 2022 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York.


"Virgil's impact on our culture and the fashion world especially was huge," Stern said. "I think this will be one of the first of many exhibits honouring him and his legacy, and his impact will be felt for generations to come."

The exhibit comes after a February Sotheby's auction raised $25 million from the sale of some 200 Abloh Air Force One sneakers for a scholarship fund set up in Abloh's honour to support aspiring designers of Black, African American or African descent.


Each of the sneakers contains the famous Nike swoosh in compositions across the colour palette, with some also featuring personalised details such as the flag of Ghana, a tribute to Abloh's heritage, reports AFP.

Another shoe contains the phrase "tourist vs purist," an "Ablohism" that the designer used to describe the relationship in art and culture between the expert/specialist (purist) and the general public audience (tourist).

In July 2021, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton gave Abloh a mandate to launch new brands and partner with existing ones in sectors beyond fashion.

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