Much like waiting on a great meal can almost be better than actually eating it, sneaker aficionados thrive on anticipation. As such, the Jordan Brand Holiday Preview has become a week to circle on the calendar, serving to whet our appetites for what lies in store for the winter.
The event, held this week at Jordan’s Terminal 23 in Manhattan, featured sneakers people have been looking forward to, others that were seeing the light of day for the first time, and a selection of training gear that shows the Brand taking another step toward outfitting you for all occasions and purposes.
As always, the presentation was top-notch, featuring creative and elaborate displays that demonstrated fine attention to detail. (The audio track of blustering wind noises next to the Jordan Brand’s line of winter wear was a nice touch.)
Provided you don’t ask me how many shots I actually hit, we’ll get along just fine.
Dime will have extensive coverage and exclusive Jordan Brand images of the upcoming Winter and Spring 2015 collection over the next week, which is highlighted by a new focus on fitness and training gear. For now, here are a few things that jumped out at us about the sneakers you’re going to want to add to your collection as the weather gets colder.
The news that Jordan Brand was rebooting their retros with improved quality beginning in 2015 sent ripples through the sneaker community, who had clamored for that for some time. But even before we get to that, there are a couple of coveted releases planned for the holiday season.
The unquestioned highlight was the Black/Infrared VI (Black Friday), beloved to any fan of Michael Jordan — or Jay Z, for that matter. The sneaker looked stellar in person, complete with touches of 3M.
With four colorways arriving before the end of the year, the Air Jordan XIII is set for a big winter. In particular, the Preview featured the Grey Toe XIII (Nov. 15), which returns for the first time since 2005, but with a grey tongue rather than white.
Far more intriguing was an all-new black/red edition (Dec. 13) similar to the beloved Playoff XIII’s, but featuring red pods rather than white. A simple change, but an effective one.
While retro sneakers have obviously been a consistent winner for the Jordan Brand, their bread and butter is still their ability, after all these years, to push the envelope with their flagship model. It has been well documented on this site that the Air Jordan XX9 has the finest in basketball sneaker technology, between its Flight Plate cushioning system — tweaked slightly from last year — and its new Flight Web upper.
Besides the two familiar initial colorways, both releasing Sept. 6, the Holiday Preview offered an initial glimpse at four new models that scratch the surface of what Jordan can accomplish with the XX9’s woven canvas. Most eye-catching was the pinkish/purplish Riverwalk edition (Oct. 11), based on the flashy San Antonio-hued 1996 All-Star jerseys. The XX9 was also displayed in all-black (Dec. 6), Infrared 23 (Black Friday) and a white/black elephant-print. (Oct. 11).
Also making use of the Flight Plate — but with a bouncier zoom bag in the forefoot — is the Jordan Super.Fly 3, the unofficial signature sneaker of Blake Griffin. A couple of us got to try a pair on court, and they don’t disappoint; black/grey and purple/blue on Oct. 1 lead a parade of colorways.
In addition, the brand new CP3 VIII — a rugged sneaker perfect for guard play — was on full display, with the black/Infrared 23 model (Nov. 1) leading the way.
When the Jordan Future, basically a Roshe Run/Air Jordan XI hybrid, was announced, it was a polarizing concept, to say the least. People are not quick to embrace something that looks like something they’re familiar with, but which takes them somewhat out of their comfort zone.
As it turns out, the Future, so radical a visual at first, has become ubiquitous for its comfort and versatility. No matter what color scheme you fancy, there is likely a Future out there for you, and the sneaker has taken on various forms through the Brand’s ingenuity in selecting materials.
Perhaps the most intriguing indication of the sneaker’s potential was displayed at the Holiday Preview in the form of a black woven leather upper and an ever-popular gum sole. This particular Future, originally shown off back in New Orleans during All-Star festivities, follows in the footsteps of the high-end Jordan Shine, as the company attempts to play up its “lifestyle” tendencies.
Set to release in November, the sneaker carries a $375 price tag. Whether consumers will fully embrace the Jordan Brand’s current attempt at high-end couture remains to be seen, but this particular colorway of the Future is arguably its most striking. If anything, the success of the silhouette on the whole has demonstrated the eternal maxim that ingenuity pays off, and there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
What do you think?
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