The story behind the Green Air Force 1 Virgil Abloh dedicated to the Museum Force

On the opening day of “Pictures of words,” A new flashback to the work of late designer Virgil Abloh at the Brooklyn Museum, it seems fitting that guests waiting to enter are wearing their best sneakers, as are the guards as well. so. As part of the uniform that Abloh specially designed for museum security personnel, they wear unreleased sneakers from Abloh Off-White’s collaboration with Nike — a pair of low-top Air Force 1s. with extremely bright green color.

A museum-goer, wearing a spotless Off-White Jordan 1 at the University of North Carolina in blue, chatted with a guard about whether the sneakers (officially known as the Off-White x Nike Air Force 1 Low in “Light Green Spark”) will appear on StockX next week. It was clearly not the guard’s first conversation that day. Museum try to stop the buzz about a pair of sneakers unexpectedly dropping in price before the show, but anyway sneakerheads lined up outside early, believing there would be green shoes for sale inside.

The program’s main curator, Antwaun Sargent, previewed the uniform on Twitter a few days before the show opens July 1, note that Abloh and Nike have manufactured and sold sneakers for previous iterations of the show. “Pictures of words,” debuted at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in 2019 and traveled to Atlanta, Boston and Doha before the designer died of cancer in November 2021. But the green shoes he created out for a show by the Brooklyn Museum, featuring new sculptures and archives, which can only be “seen, now, exclusively on exhibition guardians.”

Abloh’s sneakers are on display at the Brooklyn Museum.Photo by Matthew Carasella, courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

As for physical subjects, Abloh’s Air Force 1s are iconic in his career: always sought after, now a mainstay of the eternal sneaker culture. They are the subject of another recent Brooklyn installation presented by Louis Vuitton, where Abloh is the artistic director of menswear, and they appear throughout “Figures of Speech,” both on the actual screen and at the feet of staff and visitors. It was a very Virgil gesture to create a special edition for the gallery’s guardians — who, in essence, work inside the exhibition, ultimately spending a lot of time on the artwork. than anyone else — but it’s also an extension of his practice. “He thought through every detail,” Sargent said, by phone on his way to an event for members of the museum last week. “He has a background in engineering and architecture, and he has looked at how people occupy spaces and what they wear while in those spaces, in depth…. It is a way that we use fashion to enhance and bring beauty to the people and people we dress. The museum’s defenders, Sargent notes, “are often overlooked, quite frankly, and Virgil decided he wanted to make sure they were part of the exhibit.”

(As for the color of the shoe, Sargent said, “we never had a particular conversation about the importance of green in relation to the show,” though he considers it a continuation Abloh’s love for Houston car culture and its acid candy – paint job. The sneakers, he added, are the only green objects in the actual exhibit.)

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