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ICONS ARE BETTER #41: NIKE AIR JORDANS

The only thing you know one hundred per cent for certain about someone is that they think the Jordans they are wearing look good on them.

Often they’re wrong.

And that’s because Jordans now come in untold numbers of nonsense colourways and editions. But dat don’t spoil no icon.

Let the lesson begin…

The Nike Air Jordan 1 was produced for Michael Jordan in 1984 and released the following year. They caused quite a storm (as all true icons should) and that’s because they were unlike anything that had gone before. Until now, B-ballers had worn white plimsoles.

The NBA tried to ban them and Jordan was fined $5,000 every time he wore them. A bill Nike was happy to foot (is that a pun? Not even sure). Suffice to say, he kept wearing them. And though the fines stopped, the sneaker certainly didn’t.

Is that it? Not on your nelly.

They reinvent themselves. Some would say more successfully than their namesake. While the sneaker went from basketball to lifestyle statement, MJ went from Basketball to Baseball to Space Jam.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery and the market for fake Jordan’s is HUGE. How huge? No idea.

People get stabbed for them.

Riots break out because of them. Seriously. Queuing for latest releases takes days not minutes, and has even escalated into civil unrest.

Finally, generations will own them. Fathers, sons, grandsons and beyond. Not the same shoe mind. But the same icon.

And that’s pretty cool.

Ed Redgrave @redwood47

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