IN 2017, the sneaker-world saw Virgil Abloh’s brand, Off White, collaborate on ten separate Nike silhouettes to form, ironically, “The 10”. Said collection consisted of a Blazer, Air Max 90, Air Max 97, Air Jordan 1, Air Presto, Converse Allstar, Hyperdunk, Zoomfly, Vapor Max and lastly the classic Air Force 1. Each pair fell victim to a complete silhouette re-vamp, with an array of printed text, open hems, loose panels and added material; Abloh redefined what it meant to work with Nike.
Following the great success of his first partnership, 2018 is rumoured, or more so confirmed to hold a second release of ten more pairs. Now, from hereon information becomes vague and somewhat confusing. Thanks to Instagram user, @hugokickz, we’ve seen what may be two colour ways of the Vapor Max model introduced in 2017. Each pair is said to include a set of baby blue laces, embellished with the now familiar “SHOELACES” text towards each tip.
Going into further detail on the subject of Vapor Max, Abloh could be opting for clear bubbles ahead of the opaque sole as seen previously. This is doubled upon the swoosh, once again we’re given the impression of stitches holding a transparent plastic cut-out onto the monochromatic silhouette; this material differs from the previous, seemingly in terms of thickness and prominence. Other than the above, both pairs feature the orange side-tab, “AIR” heel text, suede lace ribbing and instep detailing; Abloh maintaining the most recognisable features of this sneaker’s predecessor.
Tags on? Tags off.
Seemingly, Off White’s red zip-tag will be carried along with the new year. This little feature has caused controversy amongst social media users, its purpose remaining unclear just as that seen attached to Abloh’s apparel range.
Furthering speculation around the collaboration, @hugokicks posted photos of two sample Zoomfly pairs; both of which contained Off White printed insoles. Now, at this point it’s more unclear as to- not only if the silhouette will be included, but which final details they’ll settle on. From these images, it’s clear that contrasting lace-aglet combinations will be utilised for a second time; however lace-tips may have been tipped in plastic, elongating the anglet.
Unfortunately, there are no other featured photos of this upcoming collection; it is speculated to include a number of previously worked upon models, with an addition of Air Jordan 3, Lunarepic Flyknit, Air Max 1 Ultra and a Cortez Ultra (@soleheatonfeet, Twitter). Of course, nothing can be confirmed at this time, but the prospect of a Jordan 3 feature is one to hope for.
To conclude what was otherwise an incredibly vague article, I present and Off White collaboration with Vans. Again, at this point in time, the concept is purely at its sample stage; no date, preferences or agreements have been made to initiate the production process. As is becoming evermore common with Vans partnership releases, the midsole is dressed with an iconic body of text, or in this case pattern, used by the second party.
What really, at this point doesn’t come as a surprise, is the use of script print at either end of the laces. In terms of the sneakers themselves, well, Virgil hasn’t been quite as imaginative when it comes to lacing and reinventing the overall silhouette; the Sk8 Hi has been ridded of ankle padding, instead it will sit simply as a heavy canvas against the ankle.
This could be Nike’s year for the second in concession, now that Adidas’ patent for their coveted Boost Tech is no longer. Brands such as Puma are already utilising the midsole technology, incorporating their own ‘loose’ version into generally available sneakers.
2018, will once again be hugely successful for Virgil Abloh if these collections release with the strength as these photos promise. It is unfortunate that there have been no official leaks of yet; unlike others, Nike tend to be far more concise with limiting access to certain releases and reiterating privacy policies. Alongside this series of potential releases, Nike will be flooding a welcoming market with endless Air Max 98 colour ways, to celebrate a 20 year anniversary of the model… and perhaps even a Supreme x Air Force 1 mid collaboration.
A special thanks to @hugokicks for providing photos, and extra information on these sample sneakers.