Michael Jordan amassed followers all over the world throughout his ascension to legendary status. While viewers from all around the world found inspiration in his aerial antics, one Chicago teen channeled that energy into design. What is his name? Abloh, Virgil.
Since 2017, Abloh and his Off-White label have been given permission to redesign some of the most classic Air Jordan styles ever manufactured. The Off-White x Air Jordan collection has pushed the boundaries of how far a classic can be extended, from deconstructed interpretations on MJ’s first signature to superhero homages on Mike’s metallic fifth model.
Abloh and Jordan Brand are returning this month with the release of the Off-White x Air Jordan 2 Retro Low. To commemorate the occasion, we’ve compiled a list of the finest Off-White x Air Jordan collaborations. Get inspired by the outfits below and purchase them on GOAT.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG x Chicago Off-White
The Air Jordan 1 was designed by Peter Moore and debuted during Michael Jordan’s rookie season. The sneaker was debuted in 1985 to much acclaim after featuring in highlights and All-Star performance by the outspoken Bulls guard. The Air Jordan 1 is still the toast of sneaker culture over four decades later.
In 2017, Virgil Abloh, a Chicago native, was offered the opportunity to work on Michael’s first signature shoe, the “Chicago” Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Retro. The deconstructed style and big Swoosh introduced the world to Virgil Abloh’s design perspective while also paving the way for future shoe collaborations.
Air Jordan 5 SP ‘Sail’ by Off-White
The first Air Jordan 5 “Fire Red” hit the court in early 1990, but they secured their place in history during that season’s All-Star Weekend. The new sneakers, worn by Michael Jordan during the 3-point contest, drew the attention of photographers due to their shiny tongue and technologically sophisticated design.
The Off-White x Air Jordan 5 Retro “Sail,” redesigned by Virgil Abloh in 2020 to commemorate the model’s 30th anniversary, saw retro vibes take over the Tinker Hatfield classic. Yellowing on the outsole, eyelets, and mesh offered a retro vibe, while circular cuts alluded to the silhouette’s customizing choices.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘UNC’ Off-White
Jordan built a reputation for himself at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill before landing in Chicago as a lottery draft pick. Jordan established himself as a champion over his three collegiate seasons, winning the 1982 National Championship and being named National Player of the Year in 1984.
The Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Retro “UNC” pays homage to Jordan’s powder blue origins by channeling the entrance of the greatest guard to ever play the game. Big branding and deconstructed aesthetics build on the classic “Chicago” perspective, which also proves iconic in Jordan’s famous hues at Chapel Hill.
‘Muslin’ Off-White x Air Jordan 5 Retro SP
Tinker Hatfield became even more technical while designing the Air Jordan 5, expanding on the mesh ventilation, articulated traction, and 3/4 cut of 1989’s Air Jordan. The Black/Metallic Air Jordan 5 debuted during the 1990 All-Star Game, standing in sharp contrast to its predecessor.
The Off-White x Air Jordan 5 Retro “Muslin” pays homage to Michael Jordan’s heroic reputation and battle-tested toughness by appearing like a relic from conflict. The faded black cloth top and yellowed outsole appear worn, while metallic details and perforations in the upper emphasize Jordan’s immortality.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG ‘White’ Off-White 2018
When Virgil Abloh released “The 10” in 2017, the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Retro was supposed to be all-white to match the color narrative found in its contemporaries. Abloh modified his mind after realizing that the blank palette would appear too much like a white-on-white Nike Dunk. Instead, he launched the “Chicago” hue.
Months later, in 2018, the Off-White x Air Jordan 1 Retro “White” was launched just as Abloh envisioned. The irreverent labels provided further contrast on the otherwise bland upper, with blue and orange stitching also brightening Michael Jordan’s first trademark sneaker.
Air Jordan 4 SP ‘Sail’ Off-White x Wmns
Following the release of a number of Air Jordan collaborations in men’s sizes, Virgil Abloh released the Off-White x Air Jordan 4 Retro “Sail” specifically for ladies. Pairs will be available in July after first appearing on the runway during Paris Fashion Week in February 2020.
The Off-White x Air Jordan 4 Retro, like Abloh’s past homages to the Air Jordan 1, has deconstructed components and transparent embellishments. Various colours of sail flow across the whole top for an elaborate and tonal update on the 1989 classic.
Air Jordan 2 Retro Low SP by Off-White
Michael Jordan returned to full health in year three after missing the most of his sophomore season due to injury. Michael earned his first scoring title while wearing the Air Jordan 2 in both high and low top variants while playing in all 82 games during the 1986-87 season.
The recently released Off-White x Air Jordan 2 Retro Low pays homage to that period with a marbled midsole designed to resemble collapsing over time. Exposed foam on the ankle collar has a yellowed appearance similar to vintage pairs, and the top is finished with Michael Jordan’s autograph imprinted on it.
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