Nike Virgil Abloh

Hundreds of Virgil Abloh-designed sneakers showcased at Nike's Miami Art Week exhibition

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

Open in Miami's Rubell Museum, The Codes c/o Architecture showcases the hundreds of sneakers that Abloh created during his partnership with Nike on pedestals and in a large central lightbox, alongside his other designs including stereos and turntables.

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

"Virgil and Nike thrived together because he understood the brand's role as a cornerstone of culture while Nike understood the importance of truly supporting creatives and their visions," said CEO of Virgil Abloh Securities Shannon Abloh.

"This beautiful four-day experience at Miami Art Week will honor their legacy together and champion 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 shows work organised over six different sections of designs Abloh carried out with Nike over his four-year collaboration with the brand.

"This exhibition explores the ways in which sneakers were the quilting point for Virgil's formal studies in architecture and design as well as his obsessive involvement with subcultural forms like hip-hop, graffiti and skateboarding," said the curators.

Virgil Abloh Nike Installation
The exhibition is organised into six themes

The exhibition included Abloh's first collaboration with Nike – called the Ten – comprising 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 continued, with Abloh eventually combining aspects of Nike basketball shoes with spikes from the track and hiking shoes.

"Virgil's more recent designs had a chimeric quality, plucking elements from across Nike's catalog and slamming them together in unlikely combinations."

The Codes c/o Architecture also aims to highlight a selection of work under the heading Black Canon, which shows work from Abloh's Spring/Summer collaboration 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 very history back into its design, bridging past and future, call and response," said the curators.

Virgil Abloh Shoes
Shoes are displayed in lightboxes

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

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

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

The photography is by Sebastiano Pellion di Persano.

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