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Ward 1 Sneakers

Air Jordan 1 • Lost and Found

December 1, 2022 | Category: Ward 1 Sneakers


 

Air Jordan 1 • Chicago

You already know what the Air Jordan 1 is all about. It’s a staple of sneaker culture. The Air Jordan 1, however, wasn’t destined to be an all-time classic.

When it first debuted in 1985, there weren’t grand expectations. Instead, there were critics loudly chirping about Nike’s decision to give Michael Jordan a large sneaker deal before he played a single game and the rookie’s choice to sign with a company that, up to that point, was best known for running shoes.

Jordan quickly flipped the narrative on the court by winning Rookie of the Year, averaging 28.2 PPG, 6.5 RPG, and 5.9 APG in 1985 while donning Air Jordan 1s. MJ’s meteoric rise propelled the Air Jordan 1, resulting in nationwide demand and making the sneakers a must-have for hoop heads. The AJ1 “Chicago” was inspired by the high top Air Jordan 1 original colorway, first released in 1985. The shoe harkens back to a time when shoe boxes were often lost in inventory stockrooms, only to be found again years later. Before the advent of sophisticated inventory systems, products were typically tracked with pen and paper. Human error was inevitable and frequently resulted in shoe boxes with mismatched lids.

The AJ1 Chicago is a throwback to this era, drawing inspiration from what an original 1985 Air Jordan 1 would look like if found decades later in a dusty stock room.

According to the Jordan design team, the goal of this shoe was to create a “time travel moment,” especially for a new generation of consumers. The process of buying a shoe today is very different from what it was like in the 80s. This sneaker attempts to capture that lost and found feeling, giving consumers a taste of what a box-fresh, vintage AJ1 would have looked like back in the day.

The Jordan Brand team responsible for developing the AJ1 Chicago obsessed every detail of the shoe’s design to bring this nostalgic story to life. Jordan designers studied multiple pairs of original AJ1s in varying states of distress to capture the nuances of the shoe’s look, described as having “light to no wear but with materials that sat for years in a box and didn’t withstand the test of time.”

In a nod to the “lost and found” nature of the colorway, the updated Chicago comes with a mismatched box lid that speaks to the shoes being misplaced in back rooms and basements.

Designers added extra details both inside and outside the box that serve as a shout out to shoe promotions created once upon a time. According to the Jordan design team, every detail should be recognizable to those who grew up back in those days, while giving new sneakerheads a chance to experience what it was like.

One such example is the inclusion with every pair of a vintage receipt meant to replicate actual receipts that found their way into the hands of collectors from deadstock shoeboxes. The receipt calls up images of how sneakers used to be acquired in analog fashion before the internet age.

Jordan designers took an approach that gave the 2022 Air Jordan 1 Chicago “an edge, a narrative and a connection.” They wanted a look and feel that came with a history tied back to something many consumers may not even be aware of. Ultimately, whether old school or new generation, Jordan Brand wants every consumer to see beauty in the story behind the shoe.