The History of Off-White x Nike Collaborations
Blurring the lines between fashion and performance, looking back at Virgil Abloh and Off-White's greatest Nike collaborations.
In the 1980s, it was believed you needed a big man to win an NBA title. A decade later, Michael Jordan shattered that notion by dominating the league as a shooting guard. In the 2000s, it was believed you had to graduate from Parsons, Central Saint Martins or the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts to penetrate the world of high fashion. 10 years later, Virgil Abloh obliterated that line of thinking by introducing remix culture to the runway, referencing music, streetwear and sportswear influences in collection after collection.
The peak of this transition is one collaboration that towers above the rest: Nike’s ‘The Ten’ in 2017, a collection of classic and contemporary sneakers dissected and deconstructed with Abloh's Off-White label at the helm. From a deconstructed Air Presto to an exaggerated Blazer Mid, Abloh’s signatures included “GHOSTING,” utilizing transparent uppers to unite the 10 silhouettes through common material and “REVEALING,” to expose a sneaker’s inner workings through reconstruction.
Since the start of this groundbreaking partnership, Abloh has continued to break down barriers in fashion, becoming the artistic director of Louis Vuitton while working with everyone from IKEA and Braun to Evian and Vitra. Idols have become rivals as he's redefined what it means to be a designer, carving out an identity that marries luxury sensibilities with youthful expression.
Revisit Virgil Abloh’s greatest hits with the Swoosh as we decode the design language of Off-White's most storied Nike collaborations.
WRITER: IAN STONEBROOK