An icon has landed
While the beginning of the eighties was still defined by its predecessor, the second half was a fruitful time in the footwear industry. Two of the most iconic sneakers were launched during this decade: the Air Max 1 in ’87 and obviously the Air Jordan, three years earlier. In a time where everyone was wearing white high-top sneakers or classic Converse, the red and black Air Jordan’s literally came as a breath of fresh air.
Jordan was at the very beginning of his career when Nike offered him to collaborate. Anno 2018 there are countless brands, designers, sportsmen and artists who join forces, but 33 years ago it was rather exceptional. Naturally, there were commercial sponsorships but no basketball player ever had a sneaker named after him. It was a risk for Nike since Jordan hadn’t yet proven himself in the NBA and also the basketball rookie of the year had his doubts. Little did they know that their agreement would change the history of footwear, sportswear and youth culture in general.
By the end of 1984, the Nike Air Jordan 1 was a fact. Not the model itself, but rather the colorway made a difference. Michael Jordan appeared on the basketball court with his Chicago Bulls outfit and matching sneakers in black and red. The traditional minded NBA quickly decided that this type of unorthodox footwear didn’t belong in the game. Unintentionally, they created an even bigger hype. Kids would literally attack for a pair of Air Jordans.