LEGENDS ON FOOT

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AIR JORDAN 1

My favorite Air Jordan Sneaker. Designed by Peter C Moore first in approximately 1984/5 for Michael Jordan, Nike released the first design of its classical and powerful line of Air Jordan sneakers. Why this shoe made it as the legends on foot? Leaving out the Jordan 4 x KAWS that made waves in 2017 and sold out in no time and the several restocks throughout the year. It’s mainly because of the history/speculation/conceptions behind the Air Jordan 1 shoe and to add on to that , it’s silhouette is ultimately flawless. With the “ OG BANNED “ being reissued 6 Times (1994, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2013 & 2016) only by Nike since over 3 decades ago, 1985. Even though since then ,dozens of color-ways have since been released and seen on the market, but the BANNED breds for any Jordan lover is a touchstone....its more than a shoe but more of a culture and persona . To begin with the story, It is said that on October 18, 1984 (see pic of the letter written by then-NBA Executive Vice President, Russ Granik, addressed to Nike Vice President, Rob Strasse), the legendary Michael Jordan made an appearance wearing Nike basketball shoes, which were a vibrant red-and-black colorway.

This was very controversial, as every NBA fan knows that sneaker laws have evolved but were quite rigid since per the "uniformity of uniform rule" set by the NBA

"A player must wear shoes that not only matched their uniforms, but matched the shoes worn by their teammates."

To make matters worse the former NBA commissioner David Stern, known to be one the most powerful commissioners to ever be part of American sports is said to have not been pleased. Mainly because the shoe did not match what the rest of the Chicago Bulls team was wearing, Stern apparently responded by fining MJ USD5000 per game , for each game he wore this colorway ! USD 5000 sounds like a drop in the ocean considering the current NBA salaries, but considering a season has 82 games, that’s a staggering USD410000 in fines and at that time MJs salary was USD630000 meaning after fines he’d be left with just USD220000. Jordan wasn’t phased or worried at all about this , guess why , because Nike took care of the bill, how sweet! Besides the fact we’re not entirely sure if indeed it was indeed the Air Jordan 1 that was “ BANNED “ or in fact the Nike Air Ship.

The Nike Air ship , which seems to be more accurate as seen on footage from the game days around 1984/5, even though he had a PE edition written “ Air Jordan “ on the heels, as shown in the pics below. This whole story boosted the Nike Sales incredibly high with this being used even as the basis of an ad.....the commercial was a very simple one actually : just a single shot, panning from top to bottom, ending with a new logo. A voiceover delivered the very simple message to the public which stated : “On September 15th, Nike created a revolutionary new basketball shoe. On October 18th, the NBA threw them out of the game. Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them. Air Jordans from Nike.” 

A lot of myths and stories surround this controversial incident considering it happened over 3 decades ago. What’s more confusing is that Nike and the Jordan Brand actually pumped and supported the story of the Air Jordan 1 being the one that was the banned shoe, which sounds like the best way they could market it for the re-release of the ever so popular and remastered magnificent Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Banned over the years, a throwback to the classic referred to by most sneaker heads as the "Bred." Game worn Air Jordan 1s have been auctioned at very high prices for example the pair that was given to Khalid Ali, a former Laker ball boy. He was given a pair of Nike Air Ships by Jordan and were auctioned for a whooping USD71000. This is what we call a GRAIL, Plus it was MJ signed. The Nike Air ship ( as seen on image shown earlier ) can be conceived as a pre Jordan, the chosen one before the chosen one.

Honestly my personal opinion is that whether it was the Air Ship or the Air Jordan that was banned, this myth will forever be extremely important in sneaker history and a progenitor to the culture behind the sneaker today. As you will see in these pictures , these sneakers are worn around the world by the most influential celebrities and getting your hands on a pair of Breds that were made before 2016, well an authentic pair, be ready to fork out large sums of money, getting the 2016 release is even a struggle currently especially due to the ever growing greedy and obnoxious counterfeit industry that largely disrespects sneaker culture and fashion by producing fakes.

In the image above most of the people would laugh at Asap Rocky about his " old " looking Chicago Air Jordan 1s but their actually more expensive than the latest Chicago's , because their highly likely to be from the first or second drop, meaning could be from before 2000. Making them very rare.

I totally go with Nike and the Jordan Brand and I’d like to believe the story about the BANNED AIR JORDAN 1. Mainly because throughout my research most statements with evidence lead me that way. All I see the Nike Air Ship as, is a pre Jordan 1, the Air Jordan 1 “ samples “ that were made as MJ needed shoes on court and infact those were his very first shoes ever to be worn on court. Being the ultimate Grail, the Air Ship still remains a mystery to any sneaker head, any pair currently available would be one of those 25 or so black-and-red pairs made for Jordan himself, the real shoes that the NBA threw out of the game according to most sources. The ultimate fate of the Air Ship might be the biggest mystery in sneaker history, my question is will it be retroed ? Considering Nike has been showing a trend/culture of bringing back their most iconic sneakers such as the Air Max 97s. Images and videos from dates around this time show different angles to the story and the documentary ( JUST FOR KICKS ) which goes with the story of the Air Jordan being the shoe that was banned is accused by some to have photoshopped pics in order to support the myth to help in pushing the ad campaign for Nike. Take it how you want, conclude it how you want to and analyze the situation and if you have or want to do more research on this topic feel free. And get back to me via comment, on IG or via email so we can have a debate on what you think , and who knows ....your opinion might just feature as it’s own post on this blog if it’s supported by some evidence/articles you found convincing rather.

Im sure by now you have a million questions running through your mind right now, so do I. If you have a pair of Jordan 1s ( especially the BANNED OGs ) on your feet as you read this or if you have a pair in your closet ; your question should be ARE THEY AUTHENTIC? Lol.

The Jordan 1 history is literally mind blowing. There’s MORE besides the BANNED history. The Jordan 1 Shattered Backboard. This name was inspired in 1985 after Nike put on an exhibition game that legendary MJ participated in, not an NBA game. August 25, 1985 in Trieste, Italy. For the first half he wore a jersey witch was black and orange with white numbers. Michael Jordan went for dunk , Shattering the backboard into pieces !. During a Nike press release , Howard White the Vice President of the Jordan Brand said “Glass was everywhere. The backboard exploded. I’m looking at his eyes, his ears…looking for little bits of glass”. Going on to say “In the moment, it was wild. It was a little scary, because we didn’t know where the glass was going. They were playing and then there was that moment. I don’t know of any moment where one can detect something otherworldly has happened, but that one has become something grand. For MJ, though, it was just a moment in the game.” See video attached of this incident.

DESIGN

It doesn’t end at the history though, as the jordan 1 is equipped with various aspects of a magnificent design. Available in the “ mid “ cut and the “ OG High “ , it makes it easier to select for several dress codes and styles, including formal wear. Personally I don’t wear shorts as much but if you really want your shorts to tag along with your new pair of Jays, the “ mid “ would be best as it would be proportionally good looking in respect to your shorts. For the traditional and best fit , a hot pair of jeans and the “ OG High “ would do the trick, coupled with layering or whatsoever.

The Air Jordan 1 silhouette compared to that of the 4s and 12s, Is not too bulky as it has a slimmer mid section and traditionally mostly made of leather. Even when white, maintaining them is way better and less frustrating as canvas which easily gets stained and is harder to actually clean up. Overall their quite comfortable in most scenarios, be it walking a distance, sitting or getting physical. Your foot will not become all sweaty and neither will you experience bad odors as long as you play your part by taking care of the hygiene section by yourself. The Colorways that debuted in 1985 come with the OG red and black box and the “ Nike Air “ on the tongue instead of the jumpman, signifying the difference between recent colorway drops which come with the black and gold box and have a jumpman on the tongue, an upgrade done on Jordans being released recently, but for a while now.

When you feel too lazy to dress up so you want a comfortable and killer pair of kicks to supplement your outfit, Jordan 1s are the answer.

8 FACTS ABOUT THE AIR JORDAN 1

• The Air Jordan 1 quickly became a staple skateboarding shoe upon release

• Michael Jordan did not like the shoe at first referring to the colors as “ devil colors “ not meaning Satan but his rivals at that time , North Carolina State University.

• The Air Jordan in 1985 had a price tag of USD20 , the equivalent of USD44 these days. But currently in 2017 it retails usually well above USD100 ,mad resale prices may rise above USD1000 for rare drops.

• The iconic Ball-and-Wings logo was designed on a napkin by Peter Moore. Inspired by a kid who was wearing an imitation/replica of pilot wings, that he was gifted by the airline. Peter Moore was flying from Portland to Chicago at that time.

• The same man who created the Adidas 3 bar logo designed the Air Jordan 1

• The Air Jordan 1 “ Chicago “ has only been released four times after debuting in 1985 and making it in 1994 as retros for the first time.

• Coming with red black and white laces , the Air Jordan 1 “ Chicago “ 2015 does not come factory laced, a unique gesture sneaker heads appreciate.

• As the basis of this post explained, the Air Jordan 1 is said to have once been banned from the NBA

THANKS FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO READ, HOPE YOU LEARNT SOMETHING AND WILL BE BUYING YOURSELF A PAIR OF THIS ICONIC SHOE THE NEXT TIME YOU GO SHOE SHOPPING!

 Photo Credits : Most pictures and videos used in this article do not belong to me and have been sourced via Google Images, HYPEBEAST and Complex.

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