1 BANNED WITHIN THE PERPETUAL HISTORY OF THE BRED
All indications were that the Air Jordan 1 should have failed immediately. It was unconventional and untested for Nike to market a team sports star as an individual superstar. The young North Carolina player who had never participated in a professional game was comparable.
All of those beliefs started to shift in the fall of 1984.
Michael Jordan stood out. He had exhibited hints of this at UNC and the 1984 Olympics, but once he got to the Chicago Bulls’ training camp, he let loose fully. A teenage Michael Jordan rapidly turned Bulls staff members into evangelists and teammates into adversaries during those first few practices. Nike executives Peter Moore and Rob Strasser were devising a strategy to make the disobedient rookie stand out even more while Mike was working hard for his professional debut. Jordan regarded the contrast of colors as a “no.” He rejected accepting a meeting with Nike with the same obstinacy he had resisted accepting the first Air Jordan 1 sample as an amateur.
The more he examined the Air Jordan 1, though, the more he liked it. MJ was just starting as his shoe was being completed. While the AJ1 was being finished, MJ would wear an updated version of the Nike Air Ship in his first preseason games. The league forbidding that shoe? Probably not in the schedule. The show must go on, as they say, and it did. After the October 18th ban, Michael Jordan wore White/Red Ships before releasing the Air Jordan 1 in November of 1984. The hot rookie, who only wore the “Chicago” color scheme, routinely put up point totals in the 30s and 40s, quickly becoming a fan favorite and an All-Star starter.
Nike would triumph over Mike in the Dunk Contest. Their outrageous attire combined with MJ’s aerial manoeuvres positioned their hallmark star as the quintessential alpha male, encapsulating everything that Air Jordan stood for. It all began with those black and red shoes, and soon every youngster in America wanted his game and appearance to be as loud as Mike’s. Despite Mike’s success on the court and widespread advertising, the Air Jordan 1 wouldn’t be on sale until April 1985, or almost six months after Mike was first spotted wearing them.
Supply eventually outpaced demand. Because so many pairs were bought following initial sellouts, Air Jordan 1s could still be spotted on shelves in the mid- to late 1980s. When Tinker Hatfield’s Air Jordan III was released, laggards would buy discounted pairs, making the originals obsolete. Michael Jordan withdrew from basketball following the heartbreaking death of his father and three straight NBA titles. Nike decided to memorialize a decade of the Air Jordan history by bringing back the Air Jordan I, Air Jordan II, and Air Jordan III, starting in 1994, after Michael Jordan stopped reporting to work.
They were merely worn-out shoes to the market. In the 1990s, technology and novelty were in; retro nostalgia was not. Across the nation, the ’94 Air Jordan 1 Retro was cheap since few people wanted it and most people thought it was outdated. The Air Jordan 11 produced the same enthusiasm
as the original Air Jordan 1 when Michael Jordan returned to basketball in 1995.
All of this would alter later in 2000 when the Air Jordan 11 in the “Space Jam” and “Concord” hues was retro-released. The five-year anniversary release of the original AJ11 colorway and the cinematic exclusive would stoke demand for throwback Jordan shoes for a very long time to come. Despite the 1985 Nike Dunk’s skateboarding revival and the early 2000s’ sky-high popularity of the 1982 Nike Air Force 1, the Air Jordan 1 was put on retail reserve just as the retro shoe mania was at its peak.
Love’ Packs were a complete failure. Despite the success of following number retro releases, the Air Jordan 1 was doomed because to subpar materials, elements that were disconnected from tradition, and an overall out of touch view to the growing realm of streetwear.
Then, in 2011, everything started to alter once more.
It all began in the spring of 2011 when pictures of a new “Banned” Air Jordan 1 retro surfaced into blogs and social media accounts. Although the Black/Red Air Jordan 1 had just made a quiet comeback in 2009’s “60+ Pack,” the return of Nike Air tongue branding stood out as a design element that had been absent for ten years.
Were folks regaining a fondness for the Air Jordan 1? Most of the time, no. However, the 2011 Air Jordan 1 “Banned” release not only brought back a fabled marketing strategy, but also a chase. The Air Jordan 1 was once again difficult to find—a quality it hadn’t really honed at retail since 1985—because the Air Jordan 1 ‘Banned’ was going to be launched in small quantities and weirdly enough exclusively at a few Nike Factory Stores.