While no one got trampled underfoot (unlike exaggerated accounts of the last time Off-White showed in Paris), it was still the shoes in Virgil Abloh’s spring ’19 collection that everyone was talking about.
During his show, which took place this morning in the City of Light, he unveiled two Nike X Off-White collab colorways. First up was a black version of the Nike Blazer Mid with giant white Swoosh and sheeny reflective coated finish. It came printed with the words “Off-White for Nike/Nike Blazer Mid/Beaverton Oregon US.”
The second was Abloh’s take on the Air Max 97, which the sports giant has reprised with a vengeance. It came in white and silver, upper emblazoned with the word “Air,” multicolor prismatic swoosh and clear air bubble soles. They perfectly matched the transparent Off-White X Rimowa backpacks that also walked the runway, complete with Off-White logo shoulder straps.
The most unexpected collaboration we spotted was a series of T-shirts celebrating “The Simpsons.” One featured the show’s Bart character with a speech bubble proclaiming, “I’m Bart Simpson. Who the hell are you?” Now that Abloh is also creative director at Louis Vuitton Homme, showing his debut collection Thursday, anonymity is not something he needs to worry about anymore.
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Front-row, his many friends and collaborators were out in force to show support, from Christian Combs and Quincy Brown to Takashi Murakami, Ben Gorham and Skepta.
Japanese artist Murakami and Abloh have an art show at Gagosian Paris opening Saturday. It’s called “Technicolor 2,” as it will be the second time they have partnered up. Murakami was wearing customized Nike sneakers with an overlay printed in the floral motif from his exhibition poster. It turned out that they were a one-off by his footwear consultant friend Mathieu Hagelaars.
“I experiment a lot and do crazy things with shoes. I cut them up and put them back together like cutting and pasting,” Hagelaars told FN. “These ones were inspired by protection, so it’s like they’re wrapped in a cover.”
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Hegalaars, who runs footwear design agency Studio Hagels, recently finished a year’s consultancy project with Off-White where he worked on the label’s Off Court sneakers.
Ben Gorham is creative director of fragrance house Bryedo, with whom Abloh collaborated this year on a scent called Elevator Music. So was he wearing it, FN inquired, coming in for a sniff. “No, you’re just getting the scent of soap from the hotel,” he said. As for his shoes, they weren’t Off-White either. They turned out to be a special-edition hand-dipped collaboration with Converse and men’s label Our Legacy. Nope, no one could accuse Gorham of being a groupie.
Check out every look from the collection here.