A Virgil Abloh-created sneaker exhibit opens in New York

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.

A piece of the Air Force 1 sneaker, part of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh exhibition, which features physical and digital forms of 47 pairs of Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1s created by late designer Virgil Abloh. (Photo: Louis Vuitton/ Handout via REUTERS)

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.

An Air Force 1 sneaker, part of the Louis Vuitton and Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh exhibition, which features physical and digital forms of 47 pairs of Louis Vuitton Nike Air Force 1s created by late designer Virgil Abloh. (Photo: Louis Vuitton/ Handout via REUTERS)

“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 May 21-31 at the Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse in Brooklyn.

“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.”

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

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