The decades of collaboration between the legendary Michael Jordan and sneaker behemoth Nike can be traced back to one shoe: the Air Jordan 1. Complex describes the Air Jordan 1 as the first basketball sneaker that transcended the game: “it became a nationwide phenomenon before conquering the world.” The Air Jordan 1 cannot be reduced to simply a relic of the illustrious career of Michael Jordan; rather, it is a fashion icon and a pop culture staple.
The label was created at the inception of Jordan’s rookie year in 1984, with the goal of creating sneakers and apparel for Jordan that could be marketed to the public under Jordan’s name. Nike designer, Peter C. Moore, created the shoe which sold out upon its first release. Nike’s sales goal for the Jordan line was $3 million over the first three years, but Jordan went on to generate $126 million in sales his first year with Nike. Despite Jordan being out of the game for 16 years, the Nike Jordan partnership has generated more sales than the signature line of every other current NBA player, combined.
The Air Jordan 1 has inspired countless iterations and colorways -- frequently, from some of the biggest players in fashion and design. Virgil Abloh, head of Off-White, recounts designing his own Air Jordans as a teen and mailing the designs to Nike HQ: “Michael Jordan was larger than life — he was Superman to me. My entire design background and ethos came from the ‘90s.” Much later down the road, Abloh’s reimagined Air Jordan 1 became the 2017 Shoe of the Year. These limited collaborations between the Jordan line and iconic figures in fashion and art have become some of the most sought after shoes on the market.
Otis has curated a drop of 8 pairs of rare and celebrated Air Jordan 1 designs. The Air Jordan 1 Modern Classics collections contains collaborations that span from Japanese streetwear figure Hiroshi Fujiwara to Virgil Abloh to famed French concept shop Colette. Other models included in the drop include the “Satin Banned” colorway for the anniversary of the Air Jordan 1, the UNION Los Angeles “Blue Toe”, and the Art Basel pack.