Air Jordan is a brand of basketball shoes, clothes and accessories made by Michael Jordan that is produced by Nike. Jordan’s were released to the public in 1985, one year after Jordan wore them in his rookie year of his basketball career in 1984. Still to this day, the brand inspired by the greatest player of all time (not Lebron James) continues to shape the industry to create a bigger and/or better path to success and form a bridge for younger kids/the upcoming generations.
The simple yet elegant Jordan logo “The Jumpman” was introduced in the third model of the shoes (released in 1988) after the first and second pair were released with the Nike “Wings” logo on the sides. The logo itself is based on a photoshoot that Jordan did for Life magazine. The photo was staged with Michael Jordan performing ballet techniques that appeared as if he was leaping for a dunk. Jordan has 33 versions of his shoes, none of which are made or designed by him itself; most of them were designed by Tinker Hatfield.
Jordan’s are typically found at any athletic footwear store. In some of these stores, the shoes are preserved in a glass box at the front of the store to promote them and show people their refinement. Other stores sell them exclusively and no other shoe can compete with them. Another way they are promoted is by being styled on mannequins with clothes that are new and trendy. Currently, Jordan’s are ranked in the top three of best selling shoe brands, which means you will find many people rocking these kicks all around the globe.
They are also displayed on billboards in places like Manhattan, or subway stations where people are consistently travelling from place to place. The foot traffic can get slow sometimes, making it easy for the attention of the advertisements to be caught by viewers passing by.
For many years, Jordan’s went by different phrases and nicknames for some specific color schemes that the brand sold within their shoe line. An example would be “Bred”, otherwise meaning black and red, which would drive original sneaker collectors nuts when people would describe them as such. Earlier in time, Jordan’s were banned from the NBA because the lack of the color white. One famously known phrase that was referenced during a Spike Lee and Michael Jordan commercial, “It’s gotta be the shoes”, meant that a player couldn’t be that good without the sneakers. The reason why Michael Jordan was so influential in the world was not just because of his basketball skills, but also for his style. It was very hip and trendy, or “lit” as what the kids say these days and that’s why he decided to partner up with Nike: to create a line of items that not only fit the body just right, but also help express creativity through style. This was also portrayed in the infamous film known as “Like Mike”, where a young fourteen-year-old boy has dreams of competing in the NBA with the greatest players of all time. After finding a mysterious pair of old Jordan’s, he winds up thinking that the shoes are giving him the abilities of the players he looks up to. A phrase that can relate with this movie by Michael Jordan is “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”. Another reference to Jordan’s is from a song by Drake & Future called “Jumpman”, basing it all on the well-known sneaker brand.
Different ways that the sneakers are cherished or celebrated is by groups of people known as “sneakerheads”. The obsession over the sneakers are so high that they’ll camp outside stores overnight just to buy a pair of new sneakers that hit the shelf.