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Design Inspiration: Air Jordan 1 Sneakers

One of the best pairs of sneakers in history is without a doubt the Air Jordan 1 sneakers. The Jordan 1 sneakers have developed their reputation over the last 35 years. Since then, the basketball shoe has been noticed by practically everyone, including skateboarders, singers, metalheads, and celebrities. More significantly, Quality Jordan 1 sneakers launched the Jordan Brand that we know and love today. But it wasn't a straightforward success story as you may have thought.

Air Jordan 1 Sneakers

The Jordan 1 sneakers have been a representation of any sneakerhead for more than three decades. Although the Air Jordan 1 sneakers are undoubtedly the most recognizable shoe of all time, Michael Jordan did not like them. The history of the Jordan 1 sneakers is as significant to Michael Jordan's career as his legacy with the Chicago Bulls, as many sneakerheads are aware. We're diving far back into the history of the AJ1 for the second installment of our Behind the Design series.

You will learn about the history of Air Jordan 1 sneakers, including its role in popular culture and the design process. Here is all you need to know about the Air Jordan 1 sneakers right now.

The newest kid in town

After joining the Chicago Bulls in 1984, Michael Jordan was widely expected to revive the floundering team. The whole nation was following MJs when he established himself as a major player for the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Almost all of the world's top sports brands had taken an interest in him. The fact that Converse already had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird as their signature athletes prevented His Airness from envisioning a signature deal with them, although he had been a fan of the brand throughout his school years.

Jordan came extremely close to signing with Adidas but was once again turned down. Jordan was very disappointed by Adidas' mid-1980s lack of enthusiasm in extending its product line to basketball. He ultimately decided to sign with Nike and accept a $500,000 deal that included his very own trademark sneaker. Jordan was not pleased, but he understood the long-term significance of this hallmark agreement for his career.

The Style

Michael Jordan had to wait nearly a full year to get his first pair of shoes after signing with Nike. In his debut season, he was often seen wearing the Nike Air Ship, which would later be the NBA-banned sneaker. Naturally, this didn't stop Nike from using the concept of prohibition when it debuted the Jordan 1 sneakers online (more on that later).

Given how valuable Michael Jordan was to the Nike organization, Phil Knight, the company's creator, realized that Jordan's first trademark shoe needed to be enormous. Jordan's sneakers were created by Peter C. Moore, the creative director of Nike. Although Jordan didn't provide Moore with many specifics about the shoe's design, he did tell Moore two requirements: the sneaker had to be thrilling and lower cut than previous sneakers.

The sporty footwear was embellished with silky leather, a large Nike Swoosh, and other elements. The Wings logo, though, was the distinguishing feature. The Wings logo was a mashup of Jordan and Nike that Moore drew on the back of a napkin. The words "Air Jordan" appeared on a basketball with wings, referring to Michael's athleticism and Nike's Air Technology. Moore may have believed he scored a slam dunk, but that wasn't the case.

Final Reflections

There you have it, then! One of the most well-known shoes in Nike's history has that design and success story. The replica Jordan 1 sneakers have been a staple shoe in the sneaker scene for nearly 40 years. With Nike continuing to offer collaborations and colorways of this timeless design, its impact is apparent. Who knows how different Jordan's departure from Nike might have made the world of footwear?

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