Earlier this week Jordan Brand held an exclusive event titled “The Future of Flight.” A sneak peak of sorts into the hottest pieces the brand has to offer in 2018.
The event–held at CBS studios–kicked off with a montage of Jordan’s current signature athletes–Russel Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, Victor Oladipo, and Maya Moore — hustling and training. Then, to great surprise, ex-NBA player and current TNT analyst Kenny Smith made an appearance joined by longtime Jordan pitchman Spike Lee, Aleali May, Shea Serrano, and Don C. The group set the stage by discussing what Michael Jordan meant to the NBA, sports, and fashion, as well as which players currently most resemble MJ in terms of both attitude and influence. Hearing such influential people from different fields bring forth their unique opinions and perspectives on MJ was awesome. Especially Kenny Smith’s stories about playing alongside a young MJ at North Carolina.
Post panel, we walked through a tunnel, filled with lights and fog to the soundtrack of Travis Scott’s “Goosebumps.” 10 jerseys descended from the rafters, one for each of the NBA’s All Star Starters. The black and white Jordan All Star jerseys are meant to go against the grain of the bright over-the-top All-Star uniforms of the past.
Brian O’Connor, Jordan Brand VP of Marketing, explained that across the world, “Black and white is one of the most sought out, wearable colors”. He returned to the idea of “wearable” a little later in his Q&A, and again, that’s distinctly Jordan. As the panel discussed earlier, Jordan Brand has become a lifestyle, even for people who don’t like basketball, sports, or even streetwear. The brand is just plain fashionable, and Jordan is going after those people who wear the apparel and footwear on a day-to-day basis, hence the idea of being “wearable.”
Perhaps more impressive than the All Star jerseys, was the new Jordan Women’s SOH shoe line, their first ever women’s collection. They have had women’s shoes in the past, but usually just sized down from the men’s, maybe with a slight color tweak. This is different: this line is a real collection, and is designed, planned, and executed by women for women. The President of Jordan Brand, Larry Miller, when asked why it took them so long to create a women’s line, answered by saying “It took us time to get to the space where we could do it, and do it right”.
Well, the time appears to have paid off for Jordan: the women’s shoes seemed to be the most popular of all the shoes on display at the event, and Spike Lee, who had mentioned wanting a pair during the panel discussion, was not alone in that sentiment. They are brightly colored, bold, shoes, which is exactly what Andrea Perez, VP of Global Brand for Women’s, said they were going for. Jordan wants their women’s shoes to provide the same sense of confidence that heels have often provided for women, just in a much different way.
When discussing the women’s line, Miller said “This is just the beginning for us”, and then mentioned a women’s apparel line that Jordan wants to start relatively soon. Perez was a little mum on the apparel, but there is no doubt women’s apparel will come sometime, and when it does, it will surely be as impressive as the women’s shoes are.
In addition to the new materials, Jordan is bringing back some classics. The Tinker, Cement, and Flyknit Jordan 3’s were on full display, and they looked absolutely stunning. This is the first time the Flyknit material has ever been used on Jordan 3’s, and the shoes also feature a very cool translucent green sole. They are going to be very popular shoes, no doubt.
The Air Jordan Cement 3’s were perhaps the shoes that rocketed MJ to the top of the sneaker world, and it is the first time they are going to be available since 2011. It has already been announced that reduced amounts of these will be released, so they are going to soar off the shelves. The Tinker’s are actually based on an early sketch of the AJ 3’s by legendary designer Tinker Hatfield. It uniquely features the Nike swoosh on the upper part of the shoe.
The word of the day at the event was “future”. That’s what everyone kept bringing the conversation back to. These jerseys, and these shoes, are the future of their brand. Jordan is in an enviable place, with a rich history of excellence as well as a current market that is still enthralled by the brand and the Jordan mystique. After looking at what the future holds for the brand, it doesn’t seem like that unique, powerful combination is going anywhere anytime soon.