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BEHIND THE DESIGN

THE TEN: AIR FORCE 1 LOW
The SNKRS Stash in Chicago, IL featuring The Ten: Air Force 1 Low is available only on iOS.

Virgil Abloh’s relationship to Nike began long before he first visited the company’s world headquarters in October 2016 to start a new collaboration. As a teenager, living in Rockford, Illinois, he and his friends sketched shoe ideas and mailed them to Nike. “We were enamored with Air Jordans,” says Abloh, who is now 36 and based between Milan and Chicago. “Michael Jordan was larger than life — he was Superman to me. My entire design background and ethos came from the ‘90s.” Establishing a reconstructed design language, combined with Abloh’s urgency to fulfill a life-long dream, would ultimately lead to The Ten, a collaborative exploration of 10 Nike footwear silhouettes.
The 10 shoes were divided into two themes. The first, “REVEALING,” was designed to look accessible: hand-cut, open-source and reconstructed. It includes the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and the Nike Blazer Mid. The second, “GHOSTING,” was designed with translucent uppers to further the idea of revealing and unite the second set of silhouettes through common material. It includes the Converse Chuck Taylor, the Nike Zoom Fly, the Nike React Hyperdunk 2017, the Nike Air Max 97 and the Nike Air Force 1 Low.
With the five "GHOSTING" shoes, including basketball icons, such as the Nike Air Force 1 Low that preceded the Hyperdunk and a running icon that preceded the Vaporfly Elite (the Nike Air Max 97), Abloh says he wanted to use a common, semi-revealing material to unite their combined 94-year history. “My high school years were made up of playing soccer, skateboarding and biking year-round,” says Abloh. “What I've learned from playing sports and also being obsessed with design is that there is an inherent style and focus that exists amongst athletes and designers alike: What propels them to be the best comes from deep within.”