Hundreds of sneakers designed by Virgil Abloh on display at Miami Art Week

Sportswear company Nike created the Virgil Abloh: The Codes c/o Architecture exhibition at Miami Art Week, showcasing the collaboration between the designer and the brand.

The Codes c/o Architecture, open at the Rubell Museum in Miami, features hundreds of sneakers Abloh designed during his partnership with Nike on pedestals and in a large central light box alongside his other designs including stereos and turntables.

Nike has opened the exhibition Virgil Abloh: The Codes c/o Architecture in Miami

“Virgil and Nike thrive together because he understood the role of brand as the cornerstone of culture, while Nike understood the importance of truly empowering creators and their vision,” said Shannon Abloh, CEO of Virgil Abloh Securities.

“This beautiful four-day experience at Miami Art Week will honor their collective legacy, promoting both Virgil’s open-source methods and his genuine commitment to collaborating with and inspiring others.”

Nike Virgil Abloh shoes
Hundreds of Abloh’s designs for Nike are included

Co-curated by Alessio Ascari of Architecture – a division of Nike created by Abloh – The Codes c/o Architecture features work organized into six distinct sections of designs Abloh carried out with Nike during his four-year collaboration with the brand.

“This exhibition explores how sneakers were the starting point for Virgil’s formal studies in architecture and design, as well as his obsession with subcultural forms such as hip-hop, graffiti and skateboarding,” the curators said.

Virgil Abloh Nike installation
The exhibition is divided into six themes

The exhibition featured Abloh’s first collaboration with Nike – dubbed The Ten – consisting of a collection of 10 classic Nike shoes reconstructed by the designer, who took parts from different sneakers and combined them.

It also showed how this method became more complex as the collaboration progressed, with Abloh eventually combining aspects of Nike basketball shoes with track spikes and hiking shoes.

“Virgil’s more recent designs had a chimeric quality, taking elements from across the Nike catalog and slamming them together in unlikely combinations.”

The Codes c/o Architecture also aims to highlight a selection of work under the Black Canon heading, featuring work from Abloh’s Spring/Summer collaborations with Nike and Louis Vuitton.

“This series is undoubtedly one of his greatest achievements, something only he could have made possible – interpreting the cultural history of a design object and weaving that history into its design, a bridge between past and future, call and answer,” said the curators .

Virgil Abloh shoes
Shoes are displayed in lightboxes

On December 2, 2022, Nike will release a new sneaker in collaboration with Abloh’s brand Off-White during one of the talks scheduled at the show.

Abloh, who passed away last year, was born in Illinois and was known for his work in fashion and design. He has worked with brands such as Mercedes-Benz on car designs and Ikea on a range of homewares.

Virgil Abloh: The Codes c/o Architecture is on view December 1-4, 2022 at the Rubell Museum in Miami. For a comprehensive list of architecture and design events, see Dezeen’s Event Guide.

The photograph is by Sebastiano Pellion di Persano.

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