Virgil Abloh. Nike. ICONS - book cover
Decorative Arts & Design
  • Publisher : TASCHEN
  • Published : 27 Dec 2020
  • Pages : 352
  • ISBN-10 : 383658509X
  • ISBN-13 : 9783836585095
  • Language : English

Virgil Abloh. Nike. ICONS

In 2016, sportswear manufacturer Nike and fashion designer Virgil Abloh joined forces to create a sneaker collection celebrating 10 of the Oregon-based company's most iconic shoes. With their project The Ten―which reimagines icons like Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, Air Force 1, and Air Presto, among others―they reinvigorated sneaker culture.

Virgil Abloh's new designs offer deep insights into engineering ingenuity and burst with cultural cachet. Drawing on the genius of the original shoe using lettering, ironic labels, collage, and sculpting techniques, Abloh plays with language and sculptural elements to construct new meaning. Inspired by the wit of Dadaism, architectural theory, and avant-garde happenings, he analyzes what makes each shoe iconic and deconstructs it into an artistic assemblage, making each shoe into a piece of industrial design, a readymade sculpture, and a wearable all at once.

ICONS traces Abloh's investigative, creative process through documentation of the prototypes, original text messages from Abloh to Nike designers, and treasures from the Nike archives. We find Swooshes sliced away from Air Jordans and reapplied with tape or thread, Abloh's typical text fragments in quotation marks on Air Force 1, and All Stars cut into pieces. We take a look behind the scenes and witness Abloh's DIY approach, which gives each model in the Off-WhiteTM c/o Nike collection its own unique touch. This deconstructive vocabulary is reflected in the Swiss binding, which showcases an open spine and discloses the production of the book.

The book documents Abloh's cooperative way of working and reaffirms the power of print. For its design Nike and Abloh partnered with the acclaimed London-based design studio Zak Group. Together they conceived a two-part compendium, equal parts catalog and conceptual toolbox. The first part of the book presents a visual culture of sneakers while a lexicon in the second part defines the key people, places, objects, ideas, materials, and scenes from which the project grew. Texts by Nike's Nicholas Schonberger, writer Troy Patterson, curator and historian Glenn Adamson, and Virgil Abloh himself frame the collaborative work within fashion and design history. A foreword by Hiroshi Fujiwara places the project within the historical continuum of Nike collaborators.

Editorial Reviews

"The ultimate Virgil Abloh x Nike retrospective." ―

"As sneaker culture becomes more and more prevalent in both the realms of art and high fashion, there are very few books on the market that are worthy of a chic coffee table arrangement – until now. Icons captures the cultural connection between sneakers, art, and fashion behind one of the biggest collaborations in sneaker history." ―

"Sure to get the sneakerheads buzzing." ―

"Offers unique insight into a defining moment in sneaker culture." ―

"The design brings a baseline color pop for your initial book stacking and shelving, as well as a legit conversation piece." ―

"Virgil Abloh's ‘ICONS' book lifts the lid on his era-defining Nike collaboration." ―

Readers Top Reviews

Nice to see the design process behind the nike x off white sneaker collaborations
I absolutely love the book. It is beautiful and very inspirational, unfortunately upon arrival the thin pages at the back holding it together had ripped (I know the binding is not meant to be fully attached) however the cover completely comes away from the book! I would like to have replaced it, but could only see how to return and I love the book so don't want to be without it so I have paid a lot of money for a damaged book.
KristenMarvin ignaci
Defective. The spine wasn’t even glued down. A third of the book is basically blank pages. Super disappointed considering I ordered this months ago. Save your money. I recommend buying “The Ultimate Sneaker Book” instead
Jv Flores
Great read into Virgil’s design process. Great for a coffee table and has a very strong presence due to the color.
An amazing look into the genius of Virgil. A must have for any enthusiast of sneakers or art in general. I was confused at first at the binding of the book but it was done intentionally. Great art piece for any coffee table or bookshelf.