After an exciting 2016 with countless releases & events, the future looks bright for 2017. The start of the new year marks the beginning of our #BragAbout feature, where we focus on one specific brand and cover a wide array of topics ranging from the past year to the upcoming year. With many brands increasingly gaining popularity, we asked ourselves one question: What can these brands brag about?
2016 was another crazy year for Jordan Brand as usual. The year included the return of some classic colourways, some new silhouettes, on top of some of the most sought after collaborative projects of the year. In addition to working the fine details of certain silhouettes and colourways, Jordan Brand decided to go one step further with the incorporation of new materials, as well as new takes on certain silhouettes.
This past year was one of my favourite for Jordan Brand as the year was filled with amazing Air Jordan 1 OG High colourways including the timeless Bred, Metallic Navy, Black Toe, and Storm Blue. These four colourways are true Air Jordan 1 OG’s as they were four colourways that originally released in 1985, but the other non-original colourways, such as the Reverse Shattered Backboard & the Top 3, were still in extremely high demand, at times more than some original colourways.
The year saw the return of some of the most sought-after Air Jordan sneakers of all-time in their original iteration with the releases of the True Blue 3, White Cement 4, Black Metallic 5, and Space Jam 11. The 3, 4 & 5 all returned with the classic Nike Air branding throughout the shoes and we were blessed to see the return of the True Blue 3 in its original beauty with the red tongue that was not featured on the previous retro models dating back to 2001. The notorious Space Jam 11 also returned this year with a slight modification from its 2009 predecessor, as it featured the number 45 on the heel instead of the traditional 23.
With so much heat that was released throughout the year, one of the most overlooked moves that Jordan Brand made was the release of numerous low silhouettes. The Air Jordan 1, 2, 5 & 9 all saw their lower siblings being released with some of the highlights being the OG 1 Low and the 2 Low in classic original colourways. The OG 1 Lows were some of the best summer shoes that were seen throughout the year but when Jordan Brand released the Air Jordan 1 Low “Swooshless” collection, many were completely caught off guard with the quality of the release.
We also saw the reinterpretation of the Air Jordan 10 “City Series” with some differences from the 1995 collection. The original “City Series” consisted of four cities within the United States in each city’s respective team colourways: the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Seattle Supersonics, and the New York Knicks. The 2016 release saw the “City Series” take a more international approach with cities such as Rio, London, Paris & Shanghai being featured alongside Charlotte, New York City, Los Angeles & Chicago.
The Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle collection was the source of headlines in 2015, and 2016 saw the Pinnacle series continue & expand with the incorporation of premium materials on new silhouettes. The Air Jordan 4 was the most popular silhouette for the 2016 Pinnacle series with four different iterations using materials such as snakeskin and pony hair on an already popular silhouette, so it was a given that these were a win. The Air Jordan 1 Low and the Air Jordan 6 also received the Pinnacle treatment with the release of the fully metallic uppers in silver and gold. With all of these amazing Pinnacle releases, the best was saved for the end of the year with the release of the Suede Air Jordan 11s. In addition to the Pinnacle series, Jordan Brand also incorporated some new materials on the Air Jordan 3 & 12 with the wool uppers, or the paint which chips away, seen on the Air Jordan 12 Wings.
This past year was also the year of collaborations throughout the industry and Jordan Brand did not disappoint with their amazing collaborative projects. Don C from Just Don and the French basketball tournament Quai 54 both had amazing Air Jordan 2 models that sat atop many best sneakers of 2016 list. Jordan Brand and Canada’s own Drake had two projects both featuring the stingray material seen throughout the Air Jordan 10 and the Air Jordan 12. The Jordan family also released some amazing projects as his Airness’ son, Marcus, opened a boutique named Trophy Room and commemorated the grand opening of the store with the release of the Air Jordan 16 French Blue. SoleFly in Miami, owned by his Airness’ brother-in-law, also released two Miami-themed projects featuring the Air Jordan 16 & 23. Jordan Brand also continued their historic relationship with the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital with the release of their Air Jordan 7, designed by 10 year-old Damien Phillips and inspired by Damien’s favourite superhero character, Deadpool. Soccer fans were also blessed with the collaborative project with Neymar Jr. featuring his take on the Air Jordan 5 Low, in addition to two Nike Hypervenom cleats in two colourways which were clearly heavily influenced by Jordan Brand.
Every year, Jordan Brand continues the Air Jordan numbered series and 2016 saw the release of the Air Jordan 30 & 31, both performance-focused basketball shoes. Both shoes were well received by the public but the Air Jordan 31 was arguably one of the best Air Jordan numbered series model since the 23. With numerous colourways that are based off of classic iconic Jordan Brand colourways, the Air Jordan 31 was a big win for Jordan Brand.
It’s typically difficult to follow up an extremely successful year but the lineup that Jordan Brand has teased the public with says otherwise. There will be some of the most desired Air Jordan models of all-time returning: Air Jordan 1 OG High Royal, Air Jordan 4 Bred, Air Jordan 4 Pure Money, Air Jordan 11 Low UNC, and many more. The Air Jordan 4 Motorsport, once an extremely rare sample, will be making its general release in 2017 in addition to the black stingray iteration of the October’s Very Own x Air Jordan 12.
Hoping to see the re-opening of the Jordan store on Yonge Street in Downtown Toronto that was open throughout the 2016 NBA All-Star weekend. We cannot wait to see what Jordan Brand has in store for 2017!