Back in 1985, the Air Jordan 1 was the first signature shoe of Michael Jordan, a basketball performance shoe. Throughout the last decades however, the Air Jordan 1 developed into one of the quintessential pieces for sneaker heads and fashionistas worldwide. Today, in 2018, the Air Jordan 1 has reached new levels. That’s why Jordan Brand invited KICKZ to Paris Fashion Week to honor the AJ1 and get an exclusive look at the footwear line up for Fall 2018, a collection that will celebrate the next generation of defiant ones and the iconic shoe’s place on the court, in the culture and for the community.
To start things of, the elusive circle of invited guests gathered at Maison 23, a dedicated Jordan exhibition space, to enjoy an exclusive pre-screening of UNBANNED: The Legend of AJ1, a documentary by Dexton Deboree which focuses on the cultural impact of the Air Jordan 1. The movie is an homage to arguably the most important shoe in sneaker history, especially from a basketball standpoint. From its designer Peter Moore to Nike co-founder Phil Knight to legendary director Spike Lee to design god Tinker Hatfield or NBA superstars like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, UNBANNED is packed with expert takes on the AJ1. Especially in today’s age, when hype is the main reason for the kids to buy a pair of Jordans, a documentary like UNBANNED should be highly recommended to establish some background knowledge. Sneaker culture is not something that came overnight, it developed through the course of time and has its own history, a history you should be familiar with if you want to be part of this culture. So watch UNBANNED and get educated!
Day 2 was the main reason for our trip to Paris and it was really worth it, let me tell you that! After polishing up our Jordan knowledge on the first day, we were now ready for the new product which will be available in the coming weeks. Instead of a regular product showcase, the folks from Jordan Brand had some special tricks up their sleeves… Enter Don C, Chicago native and fashion designer with strong connections to hip hop and basketball, Billie Eilish, part of the new generation of music stars, and the Brodie himself, NBA MVP and triple-double machine Russell Westbrook! WOW!
All three of them represent different aspects of the Jordan FA2018 collection. Billie, a teenage prodigy & absolutely brilliant singer-songwriter, stands for the new wave of Air Jordan 1s, a collection of new shapes and materials directed at the female sneaker heads. Don C, the mind behind Just Don, coming from Kanye’s circles and deeply rooted in the fashion world, is only the second non-athlete to have his own Jordan signature shoe if you will (Spike Lee is the other) with the Jordan Legacy 312, a mixture of classic designs to pay homage to Jordan Brand and Don’s hometown that combines details from the Air Jordan I, Air Jordan III and Nike Air Alpha Force low. And last but not least, Russell Westbrook, the most energetic basketball player the NBA has ever seen, 2017 MVP and fashion king of the NBA. Westbrook presents a combination of on-court heroics and off-court style that no other player has. This one-of-a-kind combo is expressed through his collection, which follows his “Why Not?“ mantra and consists of both a performance and a lifestyle shoe plus an apparel capsule.
After the obligatory Q&A in which all three emphasized how honored they are to be part of Jordan Brand, we got the chance to snap some pics with them and Don C, one of the most outgoing, friendly and definitely coolest people you can imagine even answered some questions on his shoes and posed for pics with everyone who asked. You could tell that he is extremely proud of his very own shoe, the Legacy 312. Here are some of our best shots!
To close out the second day, we went to Kevin Couliau‘s atelier. Kevin is probably THE number 1 photographer in the world when it comes to basketball culture. You may know some of his work from K1X lookbooks and his Asphalt Chronicles magazine. He has built his reputation over the last years and is now working on big projects with Jordan Brand and Nike Basketball and even has some of his pictures printed on official Jordan Brand apparel. I guess that’s what you call #lifegoals when you’re a photographer! We dove into his own little world and checked out some of his best work, basketball photography from all continents. Kevin combines courts, baskets and people to portray how the game of basketball has no boundaries, how it connects people, how basketball really is lived equality. Make sure you check out his work and enjoy the beauty of the game!
No weekend of basketball would be complete without playing the game… So to wrap things up, we tested out the brand-new Jordan Why Not Zero.1 Low, which is dropping in the next weeks on KICKZ.com! A special event needs a special venue for a weartest. In this case, the special venue was the original playground of the world-famous Quai54, the streetball world championship. Not too bad! The first Q54 took place in 2004 and in 2018 KICKZ will be giving you live coverage from Paris again, so stay tuned!
A Russell Westbrook inspired workout to test his shoes was up next. With the main focus on dribbling, penetrating and 1-on-1 moves, we really went hard to find out what the Why Not Zero.1 can do. Unfortunately, the floor was super dirty, so I can’t give you any info about grip or traction, but other than that, the shoes performed quite well. The cushioning and support are good and although they’re really comfortable you still have a good court-feel. They are designed to the specs of Russell Westbrook, so I would recommend them to fast and aggressive players who like to change speed and directions a lot. But whatever your game might look like, if you’re looking for a stylish performance shoe with nice features, you cannot go wrong with the Jordan Why Not Zero.1. So stay tuned and give them a try as soon as they are available on KICKZ.com!
Having a brand like Jordan being part of the Paris Fashion Week really shows how far basketball has come and it is also the perfect example for our motto that we have at KICKZ: Never Not Ballin’! Cause even when you dress to impress, there ain’t nothing better than a fresh pair of KICKZ on your feet…