A short trip to where and how Jordan Brand started.

Most people know that Jordan Brand and Nike have some kind of connection.

It started out as just Nike having a signature athlete, having his own logo.
It was switched with the III from the ‘wings’ logo to the well known ‘jumpman’.
The III was the first Jordan shoe designed by legendary Nike-Designer Tinker Hatfield. Then the Nike logo disappeared from the outer
(around model VII)


to only be used on the inner of the shoes.
Before, the models used the ‘NikeAir’-Logo mostly on the heel.

Finally, Jordan became an own brand, independently, only boasting its own logo on the shoes. That happened in 1997, with the XIII.


There was a commercial celebrating the step, actually quite funny…

Jordan Commercial

Since then they were a brand of their own, just fabricated by Nike and using some technologies, like Air or ZoomAir.

Jordan Brand has developed their own technologies such as I.P.S. in the XX and Flight Plate in the XX9.

Most models of the line have a story to tell:

  • The 2 was made in Italy, and featured really premium materials.
  • The 3 was supposed to be the last Jordan-shoe at Nike,
    but he liked it so much that he stayed.
  • The 5 was inspired by a WW II plane, the P-51 ‘Mustang’.
  • The 6 features Jordan’s number 23 largely on the side.carmine-jordan-vi
  • The 7 used many portions of the popular ‘Huarache’-franchise.
  • The 9 celebrated Mike’s international appeal by incorporating many different languages on the sole.
  • The 11 used patent leather for the first time on an athletic shoe, mainly for  performance- not aesthetic-reasons, patent doesn’t stretch and it is more rigid than usual leather.
  • The 12 was inspired by the WWII japanese flag.
  • The 13 was inspired by a black panther and Mike’s nickname ‘black cat’.

    The 14 was inspired by one of Michael’s Ferraris.

  • The 15 was inspired by a warplane, the X-29
    and Michael’s habit to stick out his tounge while playing.
  • The 16 symbolised Michael’s transition away from the court,
    therefore a shroud for off-court, and take it off to play.
  • The 17 used a jazz tune one the lacing and is a much tougher shoe,
    symbolising the now older Mike, needing more support.
  • The 20 used a prominent lace cover, telling stories about Mike.
  • The 22 was in an aircraft- and military-theme, inspired by the F-22 plane.
  • the 23 brought back Tinker Hatfield
    and was constructed using Nike’s envirmomental ‘Considered’ approach.

They are currently moving more and more from
a performance brand to a sportswear brand which is not bad in general,
but they keep watering down their Retros
and at the same time looking for new markets
with suddenly appearing training shoes, casual shoes etc.
I think if they would focus on their Retros,
at least making a ‘deluxe’ version of every model,
different, more appreciating, people would buy.

In my own opinion, who still gets Jordans if they aren’t any good anymore?

At least they make the ‘Remastered’ retros now.



If I read a text by a big german retailer:
‘Jordan not only produces the most precious sneakers, meanwhile the brand has everything included in the ‘baller-lifestyle’ – from warm-ups and shooting shirts to backpacks and snapbacks.’

and considering that those texts are almost always over the top,
I can still only shake my head.

That text proves my theory too:
Away from performance shoes, on to a lifestyle-brand.


‘Jordan produziert nicht nur die edelsten Sneaker, inzwischen hat die Marke alles was zum Baller-Lifestyle gehört – von Warm-ups und Shooting Shirts bis zu Rucksäcken und Snapbacks.’


What completely pisses me off is that some people are like:

‘Oh, sneakerhead… How many Jordan’s you got?’

Nothing bad about the question, but these people are almost devastated if you explain to them that Jordan isn’t the shit to me.


‘Because I like substance over hype.’


So, Jordan Brand isn’t bad per sé, they were a ‘better’ brand once and people buying know don’t care about performance, only hype.