The late Virgil Abloh brought hip-hop into high fashion, inspiring a new generation of dreamers. That legacy is realized in the Louis Vuitton and Nike “Air Force 1” exhibit—a one-of-a-kind sneaker symposium located at Brooklyn’s Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse.
Free to the public and open from May 21 to 31, the “Dream Now” exhibit is like a love letter to Abloh, melding his passion for music, architecture, engineering and streetwear. Within the exhibit are 47 bespoke styles of Air Force 1 shoes. Abloh made her mark by mixing classic monograms from Louis Vuitton and a Damier Abene (checkerboard) pattern. On some, classic vernis leather is used in a punchy color combo, while others have an unexpected neon sole. Abloh’s signature trick of spelling words in Helvetica fonts and surrounding them with quotation marks is seen on the laces and midsoles (such as “AIR” and “LACET”). And a tribute to France, the headquarters of Louis Vuitton, is seen in the small flags and the use of French words such as “lacette”, French for lace.
Abloh’s literal love is also honored on the warehouse façade, which has been painted bright orange to mimic Nike’s shoe boxes. You can’t even see the giant statue of the break dancer.
Shoes are affixed to the walls, projectors cast clouds on the ceiling and blue-violet light shines over the room. Specially placed mirrors give the exhibit a whimsical feel, as does a monstrous treehouse in the back—a physical representation of childhood dreams—and the pursuit of them. Within that interactive space, you’ll find a mood board, turntable, and a short film by Abloh.