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street styleFriday, May 7, 2021

The Complete History of the Nike x Off-White Sneaker Collaboration

Virgil Abloh is the modern-day Midas. He’s dominated streetwear with his newfangled designs at Off-White and is now taking over tailoring as men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton. But the real jewel in his crown comes in the form of footwear, as he continues to join forces with Nike on the most in-demand collaboration of the decade.

 

When Nike allowed Virgil to play in their Swoosh-filled sandbox, he developed an Off-White collaboration that everyone wanted a piece of. By allowing the Illinois-born designer creative freedom, he’s regenerated interest in some of the most iconic Nike sneakers that have dropped off the radar in recent years as well as bringing hype to new silhouettes.

 

Both painstakingly artistic and comfortingly familiar, Virgil and Nike have merged old and new ideas to form an instantly-recognisable collection. We explore the entire history of the Nike x Off-White collaboration with sneaker experts Sanne Poeze (AKA ‘Girl on Kicks’) and Harrison Nevel. Grab a cuppa, we’ve got a whole host sneakers to get through :).

Nike x Off-White “The Ten” Drop

 

When Nike and Off-White announced their OG ‘The Ten’ pack, it sent shockwaves through the sneakerverse. Not only were some of the most iconic Nike sneakers in the brand’s 55-year history about to get a re-release, but they also came with an ultra-modern twist that incorporated en-vogue themes of the industrial and the ironic. As well as shining a light on kicks that hadn’t been cool in a minute, namely the Air Jordan 1 and the Air Presto, the release also shone a spotlight on Nike’s latest silhouette —  the Air Vapormax. 

 

“I think the collaboration has been so successful because Virgil created a good reputation for Off-White. Since people already had an interest in his Off-White clothing and shoes, it made everyone even more excited about a collaboration with Nike” - Harrison Nevel

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Jordan 1 OG Retro High “The Ten” 

 

Now one of the most expensive and sought-after sneakers in the world; the Nike x Off-White Air Jordan 1 was the crep that kickstarted the collaboration. Don’t consider yourself ‘serious’ about sneakers until you own a pair of these.

 

"I love the Nike x Off-white Air Jordan 1’s because of all the details, such as the materials, stitching and deconstructed items etc. It’s all in the balance" - Sanne Poeze

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Blazer Mid ‘The Ten”

 

The go-to sneaker of our high-school days received a sprinkle of Virgil magic and, just like that, it became the crep of the moment once again. However the oversized tick, embossed text and shoelaces that are literally printed with “Shoelaces” still doesn’t distract us from the fact that the semi-exposed foam tongue is asking to be picked at.

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 “The Ten”

 

By including the Air Max 90 in the Nike x Off-White collaboration, it allowed the sneaker to break-free from its subcultural associations. It’s true what they say: not all heroes wear capes. 

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Presto “The Ten”

 

In the years leading up to the collaboration, Nike’s Air Presto had become an instantly-available sneaker that the majority feel indifferent towards. But the switch-up in materials and exaggerated details featured in the Nike x Off-white Presto turned the haters into hypebeasts.

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Flyknit React Hyperdunk “The Ten”

 

Virgil understands that the secret to reworking a complex silhouette like the Flyknit Hyperdunk is to keep things simple. This all-white overhaul, featuring translucent materials upon a flyknit base, had the basketball silhouette looking better than ever.

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax “The Ten”


How could Virgil enhance a shoe that already allows you to walk on air? By adding ironic quotes and a zip tag, duh. 

 

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 “The Ten”

 

To explain what the Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 means to a sneakerhead, please use your imagination to picture the following text in the format of the popular ‘expanding brain’ meme. 

 

A pair of Ultimate Air Max 97s: Average.

A pair of Air Max 97s: Elite. 

A pair of Silver Bullet 97s: Superelite.

A pair of Nike x Off-White Air Max 97s: Celestial. 

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly “The Ten”

 

The Zoom Fly seemed like an odd choice at the time to be among the rest of ‘The Ten’ pack. Surprisingly, the Nike x Off-White iteration of the running sneaker turned out to be a highlight of the collection.

9th September 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 “The Ten”

 

 Here, we have a subtle re-work of the White Air Force 1 that’s just as versatile as the timeless classic. If it’s not broke, don't fix it ⁠— just decorate it. 

 

“Regarding the success of the collaboration, of course, the popularity of Virgil and Off-White plays a role but I also think it’s mainly the deconstructed design approach and seeing the classic silhouettes differently.” - Sanne

3rd November 2017

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 Complex “AF100”

 

No, this isn’t the same as the previous sneaker. Scroll up and compare if you don’t believe us.

An exclusive release available to those who attended Complex Con; this Virgil-designed Air Force 1 commemorated the 35th anniversary of the beloved silhouette. Our favorite detail? The metallic silver tick (*drools*).

 

27th January 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 “MOMA”

 

This deconstructed take on the black Air Force 1 was released to celebrate the Items: Is Fashion Modern? Exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It’s amazing to see Virgil create hype around a sneaker previously rejected by streetwear circles. 

3rd March 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “White” (EU Exclusive) 

 

After the original Nike x Off-White Air Jordan 1 resurrected the basketball sneaker,  Virgil kept the hype alive by dropping the shoe again in a sleek white colorway. Now worth its weight in gold: we’re hoping those who managed to cop a pair have kept them box-fresh.

 

Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax Drop

 

Still extremely sought-after to this day; The Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax pack has a place in every streetwear-savvy's wardrobe. 

 

30th March 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax “Black”

 

The blacked-out upper and transparent air unit on the Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax makes this the supreme sneaker for the fashion-conscious.

14th April 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax “White”

 

Nothing screams ‘I’ve got money to burn’ more than a pair of White Nike x Off-White Air Vapormax. We say embrace that boasty attitude and wear these bad-boys to a festival.

12th May 2018

Converse x Off-White Chuck 70 “The Ten”

 

“YoU SaiD thIS WaS a NikE x OfF-WHIte TimeLInE.”

 

Sit down, shut up and listen. 

 

Converse has been a subsidiary of Nike since 2003, so if Virgil wants to redesign a Chuck Taylor, Virgil can. And anyway, this translucent Chuck Taylor is so cool (cool enough to launch the translucent sneaker trend) that no one should question its existence. Even if it was fashionably late.

Nike x Off-White Mercurial Zoom Fly “Football, Mon Amour” Drop

The sneaker release that kicked-off the 2018 FIFA World Cup; the two Nike x Off-White drops combined the upper of the Mercurial with the sole of the Zoom Fly.

14th June 2018

Nike x Off-White Mercurial Zoom Fly “Orange”

 

The louder sibling in the pack; and possibly the most underrated sneaker in the entire line. We love this crepe as it’s a reminder that a collaboration between Nike x Off-White has every right to be playful.

14th June 2018

Nike x Off-White Mercurial Zoom Fly “Black”

 

A sneaker for the ‘I go to the gym to take pictures of myself in gym gear that I never work out in’ people of the world. Sporty-chic at its finest.

23rd June 2018

Off-White Air Jordan 1 Retro OG High  “UNC”/“University Blue”

 

A fresh colorway premiered by Virgil at the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination Met Gala. Therefore, you could dub these as the ‘holy grail’ of sneakers.

Nike x Off-White Air Presto Drop

 

After making us all realize that Air Prestos could still be cool in 2019, Virgil released the sneaker in a black and a white colorway. 

 

27th July 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Presto “Black”

 

Admittedly, the Nike x Off-White Air Presto is a sneaker that looks like it was first born in the upside-down. But, as you already know, ugly sneakers are dope these days.

3rd August 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Presto “White”

 

If you cop a pair of the ultra-clean Nike x Off-White Air Prestos in White and dare to wear them outside, we salute you.

 

Nike x Off-White Blazer Mid “Spooky Pack” Drop

 

Virgil loves a theme, and this pack of Halloween-inspired Nike blazers is scary-good.

 

3rd October 2018

Nike x Off-White Blazer Mid “All Hallow’s Eve”

 

Stepped in looking like a snack, quite literally. The combination of an icing-orange swoosh upon the vanilla base, finished off with sickly-sweet blue embellishments is redolent of times spent baking Scooby Snacks in mum’s kitchen. 

3rd October 2018

Nike x Off-White Blazer Mid “Grim Reaper”

 

The ‘Grim Reaper’ has never looked so alive. A sleek Nike black blazer festooned with translucent layers, an oversized tick and the quintessential Nike x Off-White tag —what more do you want from your creps?

 

“Some people remove the tag and some keep the tag on. I love it as a little extra detail so I keep the tag on. Old people love making jokes like ‘oh you forgot to take your tag off’ or ‘are you returning these.’”- Sanne

 8th October 2018

Converse x Off-White Chuck 70 “Stripe”

 

This time around, the Chuck Taylor Converse received a more conventional Off-White makeover. Black and white stripes: tick. Orange accenting: tick. Ironic quotes: tick. 

 

"The Converse features stripes on the sole: a small adjustment that gives a brand-new look to the classic Chuck 70s." - Sanne 

Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 Drop

 

The streamlined exterior, full-length air sole and intricate lacing system of the Air Max 97 make it an ever-relevant sneaker. Virgil builds on the streetwear staple by smoothing down the upper and blowing the tick up to make a statement. 

18th October 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 “Menta”

 

The Menta Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 is the Tesla of the sneakerverse: futuristic and electrifying.

18th October 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 “Black”

 

The less is more aesthetic works well for the Black edition of the Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 sneaker, but it's the intricate orange details featured on the sneaker’s upper that makes these a must-have. 

Nike x Off-White “Serena Williams” Drop

 

This Nike x Off-White release celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the US Open Tournament by designing two pairs of Nike x Off-White sneakers with Serena Williams as muse. 

 

25th October 2018

Nike x Off-White Blazer Mid “QUEEN”

 

The combination of a lilac upper, gradient midsole and lime green zip-tie tag makes this trainer powerful ― just like Serena Williams herself.

25th October 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Max 97 “Elemental Rose”

 

If Serena is the queen of tennis then the Elemental Rose Nike x Off-White Air Max 97s  can be crowned queen of sneakers. One of the rarest kicks in the entire line. 

Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly Drop

 

One year on from the collaboration’s debut and Virgil has officially perfected his formula. The Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly release perfectly epitomizes what a partnership between the two brand means.    

 

28th November 2018

Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly “Black”

 

Like Disney’s remakes of their animated classics, the Nike x Off-White sneakers are at their best when they harmoniously incorporate new-fashioned ideas into the heart of the original. The black Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly is the prime example. 

 

28th November 2018

Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly “Pink”

 

It’s pink, it’s plastic: it’s fantastic. These pink Nike x Off-White Zoom Fly are the dream sneaker for the Barbie and Kens of the world.

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 Drop

 

In life, people are either a Volt Nike x Off-white Air Force 1 or a Black Nike x Off-white Air Force 1. No one is ever both.

 

19th December 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 “Volt”

 

The Air Force 1 Volt, the loudest sneaker in this timeline, should only be worn by the uber-confident. For the trailblazers that rationalize their choices with a ‘go hard or go home’ motto. 

19th December 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 “Black”

 

Make a black Air Force 1 cool and you should be respected as one of the great sneaker designers of your time. Make a black Air Force 1 cool twice and you can be considered one of the best sneaker designers to have ever graced the Earth. 

Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 Drop

 

The first Nike x Off-White release of 2019 (which, at the time, was rumoured to be the last) was the release of the Air Max 90 in ‘Desert’ and ‘Black’. If you want our opinion on the pack (which of course, you do), these are the strongest Air Max 90s to release since the OG Infrared release of 1990.

7th February 2019

Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 “Black”

 

The Black Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 may be a safe choice, but they’re foolproof and comfortable to wear. We like to call this pair ‘marriage material’.

7th February 2019

Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 “Desert”

 

Now onto the affair. The Desert Nike x Off-White Air Max 90 is sexier than it’s black counterpart, but also a riskier choice. Kudos to those who can pull it off. 

 

 

 

“What attracted me to the Nike x Off-White Sneakers that I own, such as the Desert Air Max 90, is mainly versatility. I have had almost every sneaker from the collection at some point, but I have narrowed down my personal favorites to five pairs in total. Each pair that I currently own can be worn in many ways and are all fun to wear.” - Harrison

 

 

14th June 2018

Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 “MCA”

 

It seemed that the rumours concerning the end of the collaboration were all fake news as it was confirmed that Virgil would drop a University Blue Nike x Off-White Air Force 1 to celebrate the designer’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition at the MCA. 

Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 Drop

 

By this point, the Nike x Off-White house codes are so immediately identifiable that the sneaker silhouettes no longer have to be. Meet the Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 (what a mouthful). 

 

24th June 2019

Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 “Black”

 

The black and pink iteration is favored by tastemakers due to its ability to be an easy-to-style everyday sneaker that is still quirky enough to attract attention. Just look at that punky sole. 

24th June 2019

Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 “Green”

 

A sneaker that combines a slime-green upper and spiked sole, khaki-green suede panels a forest-green tag,  and blue rope laces shouldn’t work, But Virgil did that.

24th June 2019

Nike x Off-White Zoom Terra Kiger 5 “White”

 

A sneaker typically dressed in vibrant hues is streamlined here to appeal to streetwear-savvy millennials.

  

"I think the silhouette is interesting and meant for outdoor use like hiking or something along those lines. I haven’t tried to get my hands on them just yet because I really don’t think I would wear them!" - Harrison

Nike x Off-White Zoom Vapor Street Drop

 

Following on from his collaboration with Serena Williams, Abloh continues to focus on his women’s running project ‘Athletes in Progress’ – which is inspired by the aesthetics and style of female track and field athletes – to create a retro spin on Nike’s bulky soled marathon runner.

 

October 3rd 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE ZOOM VAPOR STREET ‘POLARISED BLUE’

 

The Pepto Bismol-inspired colorway is easy going on the eyes (and the stomach), and the transparent grid-patterned film provides the perfect protection for any liquid mishaps.

October 3rd 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE ZOOM VAPOR STREET ‘BLACK/LASER FUCHSIA’

 

An exercise in restraint, Abloh uses neon pink sparingly to highlight his now signature double lacing system and aggressive ‘track spike’ tread pattern on this otherwise monochromatic sneaker.

November 14th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE ZOOM VAPOR STREET ‘TOUR YELLOW’

 

With Abloh’s rendition of the Zoom Vapor Street borrowing the uppers of the ‘70’s Tailwind model, this classic Nike colorway pays homage to its vintage athletics origin. Retrofuturism at it’s finest.

Nike x Off-White Waffle Racer SP Drop

 

The third and final drop in Virgil’s female athletics-focused series, Abloh continues to shy away from the lifestyle-centric models of ‘The Ten’ that became synonymous with his collaboration, to remix one of Nike’s most iconic runners ever – the legendary Bill Bowerman’s Waffle Racer.

 

October 24th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE WAFFLE RACER SP 'BLACK'

 

Did you know that the Waffle Racer is named due to the fact that its designer Bill Bowerman made its sole by putting rubber in a waffle iron? Well now you know, and the sole is highlighted in pink on this model so it’s never been easier to tell everyone the story.

October 24th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE WAFFLE RACER SP ‘ELECTRIC GREEN’

 

This muted silhouette encases cream suede highlights and a metallic Swoosh within a transparent grid-like netting. The otherwise subtle sneaker is highlighted with a not-so-subtle neon green elastic bungee lacing. Detailed, subtle yet lairy, Abloh truly is a master for combining all three attributes in one shoe.

October 24th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE WAFFLE RACER SP ‘VIVID SKY’

 

Virgil’s use of the retro foam tongue is highlighted on this model as it’s extended to a shin-grazing length. A summer’s day captured in one shoe, it mixes sky blue uppers with an electric green swoosh and laces. 

Nike x Off-White Dunk Low Drop

 

First teased as a Futura collab on the Off-White SS20 show in Paris (sadly, these were only made for friends and family), Virgil begins a new phase in his collaboration with Nike by reworking a basketball turned skateboarding staple silhouette.

 

“I love the upcoming Nike SB Dunks! The silhouette brings out some nostalgia in me because I loved SB dunks when I started collecting sneakers years ago. And Futura is a legend so seeing a combo of these two together is awesome! Looking forward to seeing what else is cooking with Nike and Virgil." - Sanne

 

"If I could pick a silhouette for him to rework next I would choose the Nike SB Dunk. Even though he showed some images of a few pairs at Paris Fashion week, I would love to see more unique colorways of that next." - Harrison

December 20th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE DUNK LOW ‘PINE GREEN’

 

This is the colorway that was gifted to skateboarder Stevie Williams making them easily the most lusted after. Contrary to popular opinion, these Dunks aren’t from Nike’s skateboarding SB line as they feature an unpadded tongue and ankle collar just like the originals. It doesn’t stop Lil Steve shredding in them though.

 

December 20th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE DUNK LOW ‘UNIVERSITY GOLD’

 

Off-White’s designer references the iconic 1985 ‘Be True To Your School’ Nike campaign in his Dunk design through the use of classic colorways. The adverts, which introduced the Dunk to the world, showcased the shoe in the school colors of the leading collegiate basketball teams of the time, so they could match their uniforms from head-to-toe. This colorway represents the University of Michigan.

December 20th 2019

NIKE X OFF-WHITE DUNK LOW ‘UNIVERSITY RED’

 

This silhouette is designed in the colorway of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) which pairs ‘University Red’ with ‘Wolf Grey’, except that is the classic Nike orange on the tongue tab and laces. Oh, and the secondary lace loops and flywire cable do serve a purpose, they lock down to create a tight, hiking-boot inspired fit.

February 15th 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR JORDAN 5 RETRO SP

 

A homage to the first Jordan’s ever owned by Virgil, the Off-White x Air Jordan 5 sees the OG ‘black metallic’ colorway remixed with Abloh’s now iconic deconstructed design ethos. Released on NBA All-Star Weekend 2020, the shoe is constructed with a light-grey synthetic with a translucent grid overlay as seen on previous collaborations, as opposed to the original all-leather construction, while a pre-yellowed outsole only adds to the vintage vs modern effect. Deconstructed elements include circular cutouts on the mid-panel and collar, which Abloh suggests cutting with an X-Acto knife if you want to be really edgy. Familiar branding appears with the Helvetica font Beaverton HQ address on the medial side, black zip-tie on the laces, and Nike Air logo on the heel.

 

25th July 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR JORDAN 4 'SAIL'

 

Abloh borrowed the shades of neutral formula from friend Kanye in late 2020, to refresh the overlooked Air Jordan 4 silhouette. The modish ‘Sail’ hue completely covers the shoe, hence this foolproof Nike x Off-White kick can be styled in limitless ways. (Consult your Insta feed for inspiration.)

 

Nike x Off-White Air Rubber Dunk Drop

 

The Nike x Off-White Air Rubber Dunk collection is a testament to Virgil Abloh’s eye for design. Abloh took disparate sneaker components from Nike’s catalogue of kicks and concocted a mouthwatering cocktail of a crep – remixing the classic Nike Dunk silhouette with an Air Max midsole and a Nike P-6000 upper. The result? A totally unexpected grail that’s one of the most sought after in the sneaker market. 

 

 

October 1st 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR RUBBER DUNK 'GOLD/BACK'

 

The gold iteration of the Nike x Off-White Air Rubber Dunk is a real winner. The monochromatic upper contrasts with the practical black sole, resulting in a bold, punchy kick that’s sure to become the cornerstone of your rotation. Exclusively released in Asia, the super-rare sneaker is guaranteed to catch the eyes of local sneakerheads as you (carefully) take them out for a spin.

 

October 1st 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR RUBBER DUNK 'SILVER/BLUE'

 

Layers of university blue and metallic silver materials are combined with a gum sole and vibrant orange accents to build this Europe-exclusive Nike x Off-White Air Rubber Dunk. The shoe’s robot-inspired palette gives Abloh’s novel silhouette a futuristic look that would stand out in even the loudest sneaker collection.

 

 

October 1st 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR RUBBER DUNK 'BLACK/GREEN'

 

If there’s one color you should be focusing on this decade, it’s slime green. The hue – often associated with Gen-Z singer Billie Eilish, pre-Vogue transformation – is best paired with black for a grungy, get-out-of-my-room look that suits a contemporary streetwear silhouette. Naturally, Abloh instantly spotted the trend and created the Nike x Off-White Air Rubber Dunk ‘Black/Green’. The result? A must-have, uber-versatile kick that wouldn’t look out of place in a Tron or Matrix sequel. 

 

29th October 2020

NIKE X OFF-WHITE AIR JORDAN 5 RETRO 'SAIL'

 

The Off-White x Nike Air Jordan 5 ‘Sail’ enhances everything we love about the 1990 silhouette – viz. the metallic tongue, lace toggle and semi-translucent sole – and features fashionable circle cutouts and the signature Off-White zip-tie tag. Essentially, it's a brighter take on the previous black iteration. Which do we prefer? We couldn’t possibly choose.

 

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