“Culture Designer” Nike x Off White ‘The Ten’ Event Review

Now that the dust has settled from last week’s insane chain of events. We wanted to talk about the most anticipated collab of the year, Nike x Off White ‘ The Ten’ by Virgil Abloh. We thought we would walk you through our experience, from pre to post event. For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to participate, hopefully these will give you a flavour of what this drop was like.

As you may or may not know ahead of the event, Nike released invitations to a series of workshops which you had to enter for. These workshops spanned across 4 days and went from T-shirt making to talks from the man himself, Virgil Abloh. If you are die hard fan of course you would have entered for every drop possible and whilst we are fans,we took the decision to enter the ones which appealed to us the most, and save the rest for others (we’re good peoples).

First of all let’s talk about the waiting, the constant checking of emails, refreshing every day to see an email from Nike saying you have gotten into a workshop or talk. The top two for us were, A conversation about the process of collaboration with Virgil Abloh and Nate Jobe and a discussion on the making of the AJ1 with Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones. If either of these were obtained we’d be happy.

After countless prayers, Tuesday came around, and  in a casual scroll through emails, there it was… an invitation from Nike to attend In Process of Collaboration with Virgil Abloh and Nate Jobe! The heart starts beating faster, a smile, shock disbelief,elation swiftly follows. Ironically as the email is being read ahead of me I spot a man already wearing the Nike x Off -White AM1, we took this as a sign that it was fate. We go to ring whoever we know but are careful not to call the sneakerheads as this may provoke jealousy… so we wait for everyone to get their emails..still nothing yet for everyone else.

In our excited frenzy we forget to read the email until 4 hours later, and find that we are being granted EARLY ACCESS to purchase the trainers. UNBELIEVABLE. Grateful to even attend a talk, this is a HUGE bonus and a complete game changer. We start frantically looking through the collection again to determine which would be the first choice.

The day of the talk comes round and we are  over what to wear.. “what would impress Nate Jobe?”. We prep with a list of questions, some for Virgil and some for Nate. This might be our first and only engagement with them so we wanted to make sure it was good.

The talk itself was so inspiring, Nate Jobe, Senior Creative Director at Nike, gave us a fantastic insight into how collaborators are chosen and also the experience of working with Virgil. He also talked of the backgrounds of his team and their inputs. Virgil, was most definitely in his element, motivating the youth and speaking of his passion for mentoring. Having being given a Nike x Off White Note book and stationery we quickly made notes. He talked of Nike as first being a technology designer and then style. We believe this collaboration is a fusion of both, with Nike ensuring the trainersare form fit and function, and Virgil bringing his artistic flair to it.

We learned much about Virgil in this 2hr talk from 7-9pm. and Q&A process and he is certainly an advocate for creative collaboration and breaking the norm. He urged the audience to apply themselves to multiple crafts, regardless of your academic background. Virgil himself studied architecture to learn how to design with constraints.

Following the Q & A session, a swarm of people went towards Virgil and Nate, so we thought it best to hang back. It was at this point the next question was looming, how do we get the trainers. We were quickly informed  by Nike that as Nikelab was shut we would have to pick up our pairs from Nike lab the following morning (cue disappointment), what we didn’t realise was that this was a blessing in disguise as top picks were going to run out the by the afternoon of everyday. So afternoon workshops may unfortunately have less to pick up as they collected shoes on the same day.

The Nike staff we extremely helpful on pickup day. At this point when you only have one choice of shoe you start thinking, and rethinking. Having the first pick of the day meant we were guaranteed a pair of whatever we wanted. Originally we would have gone for the blazer but having listened to Virgil say that was the silhouette he was initially bummed out about working on, instead of the converse,  We quickly changed to the Presto with zero regrets!!

Having secured a pair, not wishing to make ourselves a target,we swiftly left. En route home we got the surprise of our lives and were invited to yet another talk which was with Virgil Abloh and  Kim Jones. This was an unbelievable stroke of luck, which was made better by the fact that all our friends and family secured a place too! Unlike yesterday, the outfit of choice was a lot simpler, full Supreme and ofcourse, our new Nike x Off-White Presto (staying true to our inner hypebeast).

In this talk we got to hear how Virgil came to fall in love with the Air Jordan 1. Kim Jones schooled us on the realities of the fashion industry and gave us a timeline into how he has got to his current position and of course there was some talk on the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collab. Kim also briefed us the importance of grafting, essentially citing his own progression and how he immersed himself in fashion. Again a Q&A session was held, with much dialogue being on the place of streetwear in high fashion. At the end of the session we managed to get the Presto’s signed by the man himself!

Day 2 of picking yet another pair of trainers, it went without saying that the AJ1 was going to be our choice and having seen the plethora of materials used on it. We 100% made the right choice. We had time to go through the installation at Nike Lab which increased our appreciation for ‘The Ten’ as we inspected the materials up close.

We love how the competition to get into these events was run as it brought sneakerheads from all over the UK who aren’t always chosen for such. Much better than seeing usual reseller faces (we know who you are),a great way to connect the community.

A special thanks to the entire team at Nike for running a hyped event so seamlessly. We can’t wait till the release in November, although we should say that we also won the raffle for our initial first choice Nike x Off- White blazer! A big thank you to Virgil Abloh for his contribution to the culture and bringing out the most hyped release of the year.

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