What’s up, everybody? I’m Legendary Lade, and I’m back with another column for Kickin’ Facts. It’s only fitting that I close out Black History Month with one of the most anticipated, unreleased sneaker drops of the year: the Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s by none other than the late, great Virgil Abloh! When the AF1s first debuted on his S/S 2022 runway show, “Amen Break,” it sent the fashion world and sneaker enthusiasts into a frenzy. After Virgil’s untimely death in November 2021, the sneakers immediately took on a deeper meaning. As one of the late legend’s last collaborations with Nike and Louis Vuitton, the importance of the AF1s is monumental.
Virgil, a master of sending out options, showed 21 different AF1 silhouettes and colorways on the runway. When pairs started popping up on Instagram earlier this month, however, the silhouettes were all consistent. Friends of Virgil, and those chosen by Nike and Louis Vuitton, were all gifted pairs showcasing the upper base of the sneaker covered entirely in a primary color. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a royal blue pair, and the quality doesn’t disappoint. In addition to the LV monogram, details include Virgil’s signature use of quotation marks, with “AIR” written above the standard AIR on the midsole and “LACET” (the French translation of “laces”) jotted on the laces.
Taking it one step further, Virgil also linked up with global auction house Sotheby’s to auction off 200 pairs of the AF1s in exclusive Damier print. The auction ran from Jan. 26 through Feb. 9 of this year and accumulated a record-setting $26.5 million when the lot closed. All proceeds from the auction went to Virgil’s “Post-Modern” Scholarship Fund, an organization that aims to foster equity and inclusion within the fashion industry by providing scholarships to academically promising students of Black, African American, or African descent.
Long live Virgil Abloh!
The Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1s are slated to drop sometime this spring with prices TBD.
Photo Credit: Julia Chesky
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