Air Jordan 1
His Airness. Devil's Colours. Take Flight
Virgil Abloh reimagines the Air Jordan 1.
- Nike x Off-White™ c/o Virgil Abloh
- Leather Upper with Mesh Toebox
- Foam Tongue
- Perforated Swoosh & Off-White™ Branding on the Medial Side
- Iconic Wings Logo on 'Wing Flaps' (Ankle Collar)
- "AIR" Branding on the Rear Midsole
- Deconstructed Swoosh with Stitch Detailing
- Red Zip-Tie
The 10: Air Jordan 1. A native of Chicago, the home of the Bulls and the city in which Michael Jordan defined his legacy, it's no surprise the impact that MJ has on people, no less Virgil Abloh. "To me Jordan is like a superhero, he's like Superman in real life". And what the cape represents to Superman, is what Air Jordan's represent to MJ.
Virgil wanted to apply his imprint without tinkering with the iconic colourway and decided to employ a reductive approach to design. Virgil achieves this by incorporating several unique materials across the construction of the silhouette through layers and panelling. Across the laceguard, topline and toe vamp the shoe is finished in leather, whilst rear heel paneling on the lateral side is finished in suede, the toebox is mesh. The large Swoosh only appears on the lateral side and is held on the shoe by stitching, Off-White text branding acts as an overlay on the medial side of the shoe with a perforated Swoosh barely visible below. The 10 version retains the iconic Peter Moore designed Wings logo on some 'wing flaps' near the topline and is completed with "AIR" branding on the rear midsole.
Available in 2 other colours: White & UNC (Blue & White). To explore The 10: Air Jordan 1, visit Shoe Shelf, or to purchase the Chicago, click here.
Silhouette Explored — History
The Air Jordan 1 and the Wings Logo were both designed by Peter Moore for Michael Jordan's inaugural NBA season. However, before they were ready for the hardwood, 23 took to the floor in the Nike Air Ship and the Nike Air Train. The design of the Jordan 1 brought on a radical shift in basketball design and sneaker design by incorporating colour-blocking across the separate panels on the shoe, a first, in a time of monochrome leather or canvas upper shoes. The legend behind the Jordan 1 and the 'Banned 1' can be traced to a pair of Nike Air Ships, a prototype for the Air Jordan 1. The Bred or Banned colourway is infamous for being prohibited by former NBA commissioner David Stern for violating uniform policy (51% of the shoe had to be white or black with the remaining portions matching the main colour of each teams jersey); Nike's advertising agency, Chiat/Day now TBWA\Chiat\Day perpetuated this myth, using it as a device to sell the shoes, their Banned commercial in 1985 famously stating 'On September 15, Nike created a new revolutionary basketball shoe. On October 18, the NBA threw them out of the game, unfortunately the NBA can't stop you from wearing them.' The subsequent circus, around obtaining the Banned 1 which Michael Jordan never actually wore in an official game has definitely shaped the Air Jordan story as we know it. Michael Jordan took to the 1985 All Star Game in the 'Bred' AJ1 - this appears to be its only on court appearance. Jordan wanted a shoe of lower profile than existing Nike silhouettes, Jordan previously wore Converses at collegiate level for UNC and had a personal preference for Adidas.
The Air Jordan utilises Nike's signature Air unit midsole to optimise cushioning, an essential requirement when initially produced in 1985 seeing as MJ believed the soles of existing Nike silhouettes were too thick, whilst the outsole was finished in a contrasting hue to the midsole. As with the 1981 Air Force 1, the front area of the AJ1 has a concentric circular patterned tread outsole whilst the rear is finished with linear lines that appear anatomical in nature. The Air Jordan 1 introduced heel counter panelling, a biomechanical improvement that is said to improve compression, reduce stress across the skin and reduce tension - imperative for a player of MJ's stature who was known for quick cuts and explosive bounce. Soft leather was introduced around the ankle collar, with the Wings logo embossed into both the upper lateral and medial quarter panel. A key feature that defines the experience for certain collectors is whether the woven tongue top label is finished with the original Nike Air logo or if it includes the newer Air Jordan logo.