Nike Air Jordan XXX

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Exactly when the Air Jordan XXX design journey began is up for debate. Arguments could be made for February 17, 1963, Michael Jordan’s birthday — or October 24, 1984, the day his Airness signed with Nike.

There’s also April 1, 1985, when his first signature shoe hit market and February 6, 1988, the date he soared solo in Chicago as he debuted the Air Jordan III. There’s a litany of moments — game-winning shots, personal triumphs and titles — that form the Jordan legacy. But to dissect the journey is to miss the forest for the trees. The Air Jordan XXX is a unique synthesis of Jordan’s evolution as a player and a design collaborator.

Each of the shoe’s elements results from a key performance insight or design inspiration fundamental to the player and Jordan Brand’s evolutions. The start of the design process, however, tied to a significant, if lesser-known, date: a bitterly cold weekend in February 2015, when – during a pre-birthday party dinner — Jordan asked long-time design collaborator Tinker Hatfield to spearhead the design of the anniversary-marking shoe. “The next morning I drew a shoe,” Hatfield recalls, “because I knew I was in deep trouble. We had no time. Then I realized it wasn’t good enough to sketch a shoe. I asked for that particular photo of Michael in the slam dunk contest and then I drew.”

A “XXX”, signifying 30, transformed into a basketball net. Stars symbolized the athlete’s otherworldly talents and planets orbiting the Jordan universe took on surfaces — elephant print or carbon fiber — related to innovations initiated by past Jordan models. Elaborating his drawing, with help of fellow designer Mark Smith, Hatfield broadened the Jordan narrative and formed the story of the Air Jordan XXX, one that references a storied yet timeless lineage with an eye towards the future.

The approach, Hatfield notes, created a “nice sort of circle. It’s all very internal, rather than the external story of being influenced by a car or architecture or music. Those have been good tools, but this one was different. It was just in my head, so to speak.”

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Nike Air Jordan XXX
811006-101
WHITE/MTLLC SILVER-BLK-MLT-CLR
Launch: Friday 12th February 08:00GMT
Price: £165.00

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