When Nike sneaker collaborations are the subject at hand, one specific shoe comes to mind as the ultimate blank slate. The iconic Air Force 1, which has been hugely popular since its release in 1982 (specifically the all-white iteration), is the crown jewel of the Louis Vuitton men’s spring-summer 2022 collection. Amongst other refined garments from the collection, such as tracksuits and checkerboard-printed blazers, the french fashion house revealed its anticipated collaboration with Nike. 21 different colourways of the Air Force 1 sneaker were previewed, sure to make any sneakerhead froth at the mouth.
Louis Vuitton’s ss 2022 collection was premiered through an epic 16-minute samurai film titled Amen Break. According to the press notes Amen Break “explores ideas of transmission: the act of passing on something from one person to another, activating waves of change across generations, and impacting the lives of others.”. This is perfectly demonstrated through the French fashion house co-signing a sneaker with such deep ties in multiple sub-cultures across the world. Virgil Abloh, the creative director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection since 2018, has deep roots with Nike. In 2017 Abloh came together with Nike through his luxury brand Off-White for a run of ten different Nike sneakers all reconstructed with Ablohs distinct artistic touch. “The Ten” continue to be highly sought after, and since 2017 different colourways and reiterations of his branded Nike shoes have been steadily rolling out.
The 21 different renditions of the sneaker are divided between basic colour schemes while others are far more eccentric. The collection ranges from an easy-going blue-and-white colourway to a checkerboard rendition featuring grim reaper stamps, and many more in between. All Air Force 1’s contain Ablohs signature branding, with air appearing in quotation marks on the sole as well as Lacet on the shoelaces. The collaboration was inspired by the cover of the 1988 hip-hop album “It Take Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock; which “embodied the hip-hop community’s early practice of hacking together high fashion and sportswear,” according to Vuitton.
Casualwear collaborations have proved to be a win-win decision for high-fashion houses. To read about the collaboration between fashion-powerhouses Balenciaga and Gucci, check out this article from HOLR. Louis Vuitton’s benchmark 2017 collaboration with cult-skate brand Supreme (who released their own version of the Nike Air Force 1 last year) gained the pair 100 million euros sources say. When asked if the LV Air Force 1’s will be available for sale, Vuitton responded “Stay tuned for more details”, thus it’s uncertain if these will see a general release. Regardless, it’s safe to say the LV Air Force 1’s will be one of the most in-vogue sneakers next year.