A tonal take on the classic silhouette, the Nike Jordan 4 Off White Sail features a deconstructed leather build

nike air jordan 1 low

A tonal take on the classic silhouette, the Nike Jordan 4 Off White Sail features a deconstructed leather build, accented with semi-transparent TPU on the eyelets, wings and heel panel. Abloh’s signature flourishes, including a zip tie and “AIR” printed on the lateral side, complete the Off White Jordan 4 Sail. Michael Jordan first wore the Air Jordan 1 nearly four decades ago, an eternity in the fast-moving world of sneakers and fashion. NikeNike has always had a knack for telling stories, and it found the perfect one with the most famous commercial for the first Air Jordan, which debuted not long after the “Meant to Fly” spot. It just took a bit of fiction to get there. Hatfield’s second Air Jordan model, the Air Jordan 4 debuted in 1989 in 4 OG colorways. Combining striking aesthetics with unique performance-enhancing features, the Nike Jordan 4 sneaker stands out for its triangular support wings and breathable over-molded mesh paneling. Its eye-catching design quickly made the Nike Jordan 4 one of the most popular Jordans, bolstered by standout moments on and off the court: His Airness famously hit “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo sporting Nike Air Jordan 4s, and the shoe makes a memorable appearance in Spike Lee’s seminal 1989 film Do the Right Thing. Michael Jordan the Story Versus Michael Jordan the Man The legend says that the league levied a $5,000 fine against Michael each time he stepped onto the court in them, and that Nike was all too happy to pay it and drum up free publicity, even with the shoe also debuting in more traditional colorways. What could’ve been disastrous for a flagship product appeared to become an asset.

But even with the red and white version, there was still the matter of the true “banned” Jordan sneakers. Those also resurfaced this year, but in their original form, when sports agent Aaron Goodwin tweeted out pictures of an autographed set following episodes 3 and 4 of The Last Dance in late April. “It’s as if the world was introduced to an unearthed holy grail for the very first time,” Barias says of that tweet. “Air Jordan was such an over-the-top thing, and if that had failed, you’re looking at an entirely different sneaker universe right now.” —Russ Bengtson The AJ1, created by Peter Moore, is one of the most iconic designs in streetwear and basketball. An instant classic since its commercial release in 1985, the historic silhouette is celebrated in this commemorative Jordan Anniversary edition from 2015. One of 23 pairs honoring Jordan Brand’s 30th Anniversary, this Jordan 1 Retro Mid dropped exclusively at Nike’s Palais 23 event, held at the Palais de Tokyo. Dressed in all-black premium leather, the Jordan Anniversary Nike Air Jordan 1 Mid features laser-etched symbols inspired by the event’s host city of Paris.

An embossed Wings logo at the ankle and Jumpman at the heel finishes the black-on-black Jordan 1 Retro Mid. “I saw a lady the other day, she was like 60 or 70 years old, and she had a pair of Jordan 1s on,” Tucker says. “It was like somebody’s grandma, it’s unbelievable.” Waithe’s first pair of Jordans weren’t the 1s—they were the gray and white 12s. But to her, the first Jordans still represent the origin story: for Michael, for her love of sneakers, for modern sneaker culture itself. She even has the AJ1 silhouette tattooed on her arm. The impact of a story doesn’t get much more visible than that. The Nike Air Jordan 1 Pass the Torch pays tribute to 2014 NBA Final MVP and San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Dressed in a chrome silver and white leather upper, the Kawhi Leonard Jordan 1 also features accents of black on the Swoosh, shoelaces and collar. The Nike Air Jordan 1 Retro High silhouette sits atop a white midsole and blue translucent outsole. Unique details distinguish the Air Jordan 1 Pass the Torch. Leonard’s “Claw” logo hits the left tongue, while 16 tally marks at the heel represent the number of games won by the Spurs to receive the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The Kawhi Leonard Jordan 1s are finished with custom gold “2014” deubrés. In 1984, the company was in desperate need of a success story.

Nike was ceding market ground to Reebok, which had exploded past its competitor as sales of trainers eclipsed running shoes. The situation was so grim that chairman and CEO Phil Knight opened his annual letter to shareholders with a dystopian outlook on Nike’s predicament: “Orwell was right: 1984 was a tough year.” There was one bright spot, however: That summer, Nike inked a rookie Michael Jordan to the most lucrative sneaker deal in history. It was a risk. The five-year, $2.5 million contract included an out for the company if the unproven player failed to hit certain performance markers—he had to win Rookie of the Year, become an All-Star, or average 20 points per game within his first three years—but it had the chance to pay off exponentially. Nike just needed a product worthy of that investment. If you are looking for that partner to catapult your business to the next level, get in touch with Centuro Global today. We are on hand to help you scale into any region globally and assist with all your business growth needs. On eBay, sneaker collectors this year searched for Jordan 1s, on average, over 100,000 times a day, an 11% increase over 2021. 39 years later, Jordan 1 still symbolizes all these things for me, but has now become iconic for so many people globally. Like Converse Chuck Taylors, Levi’s 501s, or the Apple iPhone, the Jordan 1 is a classic American invention, its design, form, and function exploding into a cult of personality that is bigger and broader than anyone ever expected. Its popularity created an intrinsic sense of belonging—a lighting rod of hope.

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