Virgil Abloh Teases a Surprising Sneaker Collaboration

Andrea Cheng

Virgil Abloh, the designer behind buzzy streetwear brand Off-White and its even buzzier collaboration with Nike, has teased another shoe style with the sportswear behemoth. In a video posted on his personal Instagram this morning, Abloh was seen branding a pair of Air Force 1s with his signature scrawl (or in his words, “handwritten helvetica”), tagging it with “MoMA” and “Personal Pair.”

Saturated in all black and finished with a metallic silver swoosh, the iconic Air Force 1 style was treated to trademark Off-White design elements: key meta words like “Air” and “Shoelaces” stamped on the sole and laces, a white hang tag, and “Off-White for Nike” printed across the side. But unlike his previous works with Nike — the Chicago-inspired Air Jordan 1 “The Ten” and, most recently, the all-white version that made its debut at the Off-White fall ’18 men’s show in Paris — this one involves a third-party partner: New York City’s Museum of Modern Art.

Instagram Photo

It arrives after a collaboration between the museum and Instagram artist-slash-designer Ava Nirui (her claim to fame comes from knocking off luxury labels and giving them a streetwear spin — kind of like the Dapper Dan of our generation). She designed limited edition hoodies to celebrate MoMA’s exhibit “Items:  Is Fashion Modern?,” the museum’s second-ever exhibition dedicated solely to fashion.

And now with Abloh’s Off-White take on Air Jordan 1s along with MoMA-branded Nike Elite basketball socks, MoMA merch suddenly seems really, really cool. No word yet on its release, but with Abloh’s flurry of upcoming collaborations, including his recently announced partnership with luxe perfume label Byredo, the wait might not feel as long.

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