I never would have pegged Brooks Koepka as a connoisseur of high-fashion streetwear, but the 4-time major champ continues to find new and interesting ways to amaze me. In the latest episode of What Will Brooks Do Next, the number one player in the world unboxed a fresh pair of Off-White x Nike Air Max 90 golf shoes on Instagram and promptly laced them up for the first round of the Tour Championship. Not often does golf fashion intersect with high-fashion, but this is the latest example of golf trying to shake its stodgy stereotype in favor of younger, hipper streetwear looks.
Koepka is quickly becoming the King of Custom Kicks. Last week, he wore a bespoke pair of “Brooks Knows” Tour Premiere shoes while playing with Bo Jackson in a practice round at the BMW Championship.
It is unclear whether Koepka’s shoes are a custom job or if Nike is planning a limited release of the Off-White collab. On Thursday, Virgil Abloh, founder and CEO of Off-White tweeted images of Koepka in the shoe with the words, “forward looking.” Is this foreshadowing an upcoming release? There aren’t many shoes that I would stand in line to buy, but if these come to retail, you’ll certainly find me in a tent and a sleeping bag outside the Nike store in San Francisco.
For those who are unfamiliar with Off-White and Virgil Abloh, here is what you need to know. In the world of fashion with a capital ‘F’, Abloh is one of (if not the) ‘it’ designers of the moment. He received a Masters Degree in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology where he began designing t-shirts. After graduating, he was an intern at Fendi with Kanye West (maybe you’ve heard of him.) The two struck up a friendship and Kanye went on to make Abloh creative director of his DONDA agency.
From there, Abloh launched the Milan-based Off-White label in 2013. The use of quotation marks, zip ties, capital letters, and barricade tape became unique identifiers on his designs. Since then, Off-White has collaborated with Levi’s, IKEA, Jimmy Choo, Moncler, Warby Parker, Nike, and others.
The Nike collab may be the most famous, though. With ‘The Ten’ project, Abloh deconstructed 10 of Nike’s iconic silhouettes and rebuilt them with new patterns and different types of materials. The Air Max 90 was part of ‘The Ten’ so it is no surprise to see Nike and Off-White re-imagining it as a golf shoe, especially given the success that the Air Max 1 G has seen on the fairways this year.
In addition to being the founder and CEO of Off-White, Abloh is also a world-renown DJ and was named Artistic Director of menswear at Louis Vuitton in 2018. The move to Louis V was a significant one as Abloh became the first person of African descent to lead the French fashion house’s menswear line.
Stay tuned for more info on the Off-White x Nike golf collab as it becomes available.