Inside Virgil Abloh’s Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” Exhibit

The late Virgil Abloh brought hip-hop to high fashion, inspiring a new generation of dreamers. This legacy comes to life in the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” exhibit, a sort of sneaker symposium located in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse.

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Free to the public and open from May 21 to 31, the “Dream Now” exhibition is like a love letter to Abloh, blending his passion for music, architecture, engineering and streetwear. The exhibit includes 47 custom Air Force 1 shoe styles. Abloh left its mark by combining Louis Vuitton’s classic Monogram and Damier Ebene (checkerboard) patterns. On some, classic Vernis leather is used in bright color combinations, while others have an unexpected neon sole. Abloh’s signature ploy of spelling words in Helvetica fonts and encapsulating them with quotation marks is seen on the laces and midsoles (e.g. “AIR” and “LACET”). And a tribute to France, the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, can be seen in the mini-flags and the use of French words like the aforementioned “lace,” French for lace.

Abloh’s love of the literal is also honored on the warehouse facade, which has been painted bright orange to mimic a Nike shoebox. You also cannot miss the imposing statue of a break dancer.

Sneakers hanging on the wall with hut in the back of the exhibition
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The shoes are hung on the walls, with spotlights casting clouds on the ceiling and lights giving a blue-purple hue to the room. Specially placed mirrors lend a whimsical feel to the exhibit, as does a monstrous treehouse in the back – a physical representation of childhood dreams – and their pursuit. In this interactive space, you’ll find a mood board, turntable and a short film featuring Abloh.