In 2016, Nike and Virgil Abloh joined forces to create The Ten, a sneaker collection that reimagined icons like the Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, and Air Force 1, among others. Abloh analyzed what made each shoe iconic and deconstructed it into an artistic assemblage, creating pieces of industrial design, readymade sculptures and wearables all at once.
Icons, another installment in Abloh’s own printed matter practice, traces his investigative, creative process through documentation of prototypes, original text messages to Nike designers, and treasures from the Nike archives. The book gives a look behind the scenes and into Abloh’s DIY approach, which instills each model in the Off-White™ c/o Nike collection its own unique touch.
Texts from Hiroshi Fujiwara, writer Troy Patterson, curator and historian Glenn Adamson, and Virgil Abloh himself frame the collaborative work within fashion and design history. A lexicon in the second part of the book explains the scene from which the project grew, and introduces the people, places, objects, ideas, materials, and expressions that form the foundation of sneaker culture as a whole.