The History of Air Jordan

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The History of Air Jordan

The history of a sneaker that revolutionized the world and fashion – from the first collaboration between Michael Jordan and Nike, to the new Air Jordan 1 OG Dior.

Nike And Michael Jordan

When Nike signed the sponsorship contract that bonded the very young Michael Jordan to the equipment supplier, he is far from suspecting the aesthetic revolution that will ensue.

The Sponsorship Agreement Between Nike And Michael Jordan

1980s. Nike spotted young Michael Jordan, who distinguished himself by his excellent performance in university competitions. Early and prodigy, Michael Jordan also interested other equipment manufacturers, like Adidas, direct competitor of Nike.

Under the colors of his university in North Carolina, Michael Jordan vibrates the parquet floor and, the young man knew it: he will soon make his debut in the NBA. After a final university season, Michael Jordan is about to sign with Adidas to enter the arena.

But now, Nike is also on the spot. In 1984, after a number of discussions, which are said to be epic, with Michael Jordan’s agent, David Falk, Nike managed to convince the young hope.

His agent ended up with an unprecedented contract for the time. With the same advantages as those granted to tennis players, Nike had just signed Michael Jordan for 2.5 million dollars over 5 years, the creation of its own clothing line, and the payment of royalties for each item sold.

Michael Jordan, the new 23 of the Chicago Bulls, then entered the NBA arena, with an unprecedented sponsorship contract with Nike. “His airness” as we call it, would quickly mark the history of the NBA. And that of fashion.

Air Jordan, Wings And Jumpman Logos

So when Peter Moore designed the Air Jordan 1, he signed the basketball along with a logo that would become iconic – The Wings logo.

Peter Moor told the story of the Wings logo: “Nike vice president Rob Robasser and I just returned from a meeting with Michael Jordan’s agent David Falk. We decided that we were going to create a brand with the kid. We also decided, at the suggestion of David Falk, to call it Air Jordan.

On the return flight, I started to think about what its logo would be. I walk on the plane and I see this little child and he has this set of captain’s wings on his shirt. They are made of plastic. The stewardess had just given them to her. So I said, “Can I have a pair of wings” started drawing the wings. I put a basketball in the middle. It was all done on a napkin while Rob and I went home. It became the logo. ”

But in 1988, from the Air Jordan III series, the Wings were replaced by the legendary Jumpman. Deemed impersonal, the Wings are replaced by the silhouette representing Michael Jordan in full jump.

In fact, the Jumpman was inspired by a photoshoot made for Life magazine a few years before, for the 1984 Olympic Games. Michael Jordan had not yet signed with Nike and, on his feet, he wore New Balance.

The staging of this image is magnificent. Michael Jordan performed a ballet jump known as the big throw – pretending to do a dunk Jordan-style!

If Tinker Hatfield was responsible for this logo, Peter Moore already had it in mind. Peter Moore already wanted to take back this silhouette but Nike was not comfortable, wishing to avoid a possible violation of copyright.

Moreover, in 2015, the author of the photo, Jacobus Willem Rentmeester, filed a complaint against Nike for having, he says, copy this photo then published in Life Magazine. But the story will go no further.

The Jumpman has become a legend!

The Air Jordan, Iconic Sneakers

Air Jordan 1

Peter Moore is also responsible for the design of the very first Air Jordan. The Air Jordan 1. It comes in a rising line, helped by a flexible leather upper. Presented in three colors, white on white, white and red and red and black, it is this third shade that will go down in history.

When Michael Jordan entered the Air Jordan 1 field for the first time in March 1985, the NBA was everything but delighted.
It must be said that there are aesthetic rules in the NBA, including the use of 51% white sneakers (”The 51 percent rule”). However, those of Michael Jordan are black and red, black and red.

If they earn their nickname ‘Bred’, contraction of ”black” and ”red”, it is only to Nike marketing that they owe it. Until the 2000s and the withdrawal of this rule, Nike refused to pay the fine of 5000 dollars imposed on Michael Jordan, for each match played with these Air Jordan 1 Bred.

At the same time, Nike made this ban the narrative of an advertising spot. The Air Jordan 1 is banned, but only on NBA grounds, says the advertising campaign. On the sidewalks of cities around the world, the Air Jordan 1 arrives as the sign of recognition of a new generation.

Wrapped in a little taste of forbidden, the Air Jordan 1s finish entering the legend with a Michael Jordan at the height of his art! In 1986, in the second game of the Playoffs’ first round against the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan scored 63 points.

A prodigy that even makes Larry Bird, yet himself basketball champion, say: “I think it was God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

The Air Jordan 1 thrilled the crowds, but it is the so-called Chicago declination – identical to that worn by Michael Jordan on this day of 1986 – which became even more iconic!

Air Jordan, The Most Iconic Basket In The World

Since 1986, Air Jordan has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. Cultural, sporting and aesthetic phenomenon, this basketball is undoubtedly the most iconic in the world.

And if the Air Jordan follow each other, none is the same.

The Air Jordan III is the first to present a new logo – and a new design! Because it is with the Air Jordan III that the Jumpman supplants the Wings logo. On the design side, the sneaker, now imagined by Tinker Hatfield, has a slit revealing the air cushion inserted at the heel to improve cushioning.

An aesthetic incursion reminiscent of that of the Air Max – rightly so! Because Tinker Hatfield is none other than the designer behind the Air Max, and its visible air cushion. Inspired by the architecture of the Center Pompidou aimed at showing what should not be, Tinker Hatfield set the standards for a new approach for the Air Jordan.

Better, the history of Air Jordan III which convinced Jordan to renew the sponsorship contract that he had with Nike. Michael Jordan, thrilled by the look of the Air Jordan III, came back on his desire to leave the equipment supplier.

Thus, with each of the drops, the Air Jordan frightens the Jumpman aficionados. Cool, detached but completely in tune with the times, the Air Jordan sets new heights for each model.

Latest, the wildly inspired collaboration between Kim Jones, artistic director of Dior Homme, and Air Jordan.

“Christian Dior himself collaborated with the best American brands of his time. I love mixing different worlds, different ideas – Dior and Jordan are two emblems of absolute excellence in their fields. Bringing them together with this special collaboration is to offer something exciting and truly new, ”says Kim Jones.

The Air Jordan 1 OG Dior has everything to exalt!