Nike is honoring Virgil Abloh’s creative legacy in a major way this December.
The athletic-wear giant is partnering with Virgil Abloh Securities, an Abloh-founded creative corporation, to host a four-day exhibition honoring the late designer. “Virgil Abloh: The Codes c/o Architecture” will run at Miami’s Rubell Museum during Miami Art Week between Dec. 1 and Dec 4. It will highlight the designer’s longterm partnership with Nike and his “Codes,” or design methodologies that define his work across mediums.
“Virgil and Nike thrived together because he understood the brand’s role as a cornerstone of culture while Nike understood the importance of truly supporting creatives and their visions,” said Shannon Abloh, CEO and managing director of Virgil Abloh Securities. “This beautiful four-day experience at Miami Art Week will honor their legacy together and champion both Virgil’s open-source methods and his genuine commitment to collaborating with and inspiring others.”
Abloh died in late November last year at age 41 after a two year battle with cancer. He was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections since 2018, and had led his own streetwear brand Off-White since 2012. He also designed countless hits for Nike and Jordan Brand, including his line of deconstructed Nike icons in his “The Ten” collection. Abloh was awarded the Shoe of the Year for the Air Jordan 1 in this collection at the 2017 Footwear News Achievement Awards in 2017.
In his acceptance speech, the designer said that his Nike “The Ten” lineup would not have been possible without his “intern spirit,” an ambitious and driven mindset that helped push him to accomplish new things. It helped that throughout the process, Nike was game for almost anything, he said.
In that same spirit, Abloh’s Codes will set the stage for future collaborations and storytelling from Architecture, the platform Abloh co-created with Nike, which is helmed by Mahfuz and Chloe Sultan.
“Championing Virgil’s Codes allows our community to take a deeper look into his practice, celebrate his legacy and evolve how his ethos can continue to empower fresh voices and perspectives,” said Leo Sandino-Taylor, Nike’s VP of global catalyst brand management. “Ultimately, Virgil’s work with Nike invited more people into sport and design and created the future. This moment is a celebration of a true partnership showcasing what we’ve created together while also providing a peek into what’s next.”
As part of the exhibit, Nike will also introduce the Off-White x Nike Terra Forma, Nike’s first original sneaker designed by Abloh and Nike designers in 2022. The shoe, which releases in December, is part of a lineup of Virgil-designed apparel and footwear collections.
Another of the designer’s standout shoes, The Louis Vuitton x Nike Air Force 1 by Virgil Abloh, will receive the Shoe of the Year award at the FNAAs on Nov. 30.