In the next few blog posts we will discuss further the Air Jordans themselves the different iterations of them and also the business of Air Jordan as it continues into the 21st century. Air Jordan shoes were first developed by a guy named Devon Marbury and he was responsible for designing the first ones. All of the Michael Jordan Air Jordan shoes are referred to by their number as they are released. The Air Jordan 1 came out in 1984 and was immediately a huge success especially in its red and black colorway that matched the Chicago Bulls uniform.
This red and black colorway however was very controversial as the commissioner of the NBA banned them from being worn because there was not enough white on them, they were merely black and red. Michael Jordan however did not care because he was making so much money from Nike on the shoe. So he continued to wear them on the court and every time that he would he was fined $5,000. Nike was so smart that they went on to use this as a promotional tool to advertise the shoes. The advertising that they used for the Air Jordan seem to say that the Jordan shoe was banned because it made the wearer so good that it gave him an unfair advantage.
Not to mention the fact that he was fined by the commissioner also gave them and a status and an outlaw status that made them even more popular. Next came the Air Jordan 2s the Air Jordan 1 was so successful they were keen to release a second design. This is also the first shoe that was retailed for $100 and made a splash at this with a lot of money for a pair of shoes but already the prestige and the status of the shoe was causing consumers to shell out more and more money for the hot footwear. The Air Jordan 3 had its level of controversy because Michael Jordan wanted to leave Nike at this point but the Air Jordan 3 is what changed his mind and caused him to stay. This Air Jordan was revolutionary because it had the visible air pocket in the heel which would become a huge selling point for this as well as other shoes down the Nike line for years to come.
This is also the first of the Air Jordan shoes to have the iconic Jumpman logo on it. This also had an elephant print and a different kind of leather that made it feel more luxurious and worthy of its price. This is also when Nike unveiled more of it now iconic advertising for each of these shoes this time starring Spike Lee. Spike Lee became iconic with the shoe as he is a mainstay of New York Knicks sidelines and is often seen heckling Michael Jordan during his games. The Air Jordan 4 came out in 1989 and this was a landmark for the Air Jordan because it was the first one to be released internationally and not just in the US. Spike Lee also returned to do more advertising for this and became even more iconic and doing so. The shoes also became even more iconic because in game 5 of the 1989 NBA first round finals Michael Jordan made an iconic shot to win the game of the last and final game of the series that put them to the next round.
This has been known as the shot and because Michael Jordan was wearing the Air Jordan 4 when he completed the shop it became even more in demand as everyone wanted the show that he was wearing at the time. The next Air Jordan the Air Jordan 5 was released in 1990 some of the more distinctive features are the reflective tongue and the translucent rubber around the trimming and detail. However performance-wise these were not very popular as there were issues with slipping and also the leather turning yellow when they would get wet. The designer is said to have drawn inspiration from World War 2 fighter planes in the design of the shoe and they were still continually very popular even though they were not as popular as the Jordans that came before it. In the next blog post we will continue our dissection of the history of the Jordan.