How do you make a grail, well…grail-ier? The Air Jordan 1 is already an icon, a universally beloved sneaker with 35 years of history and a tendency to sell out with each subsequent release. How do you top that? Easy: Just talk to Kim Jones.
The creative director of Dior Men is a magician of the high-low collab. He’s done it once already, at Louis Vuitton, throwing the French fashion house together with Supreme and in- spiring overnight queues—and astronomical resale prices—the world over. But that was back in 2017, when everyone was high as hell on in-your-face streetwear vibes. Now, in a more muted 2020, he’s achieved the same alchemical hype by taking the AJ1, plus a lineup of Jordan Brand apparel and accessories, in a pared-down direction.
Basketball shorts break from the court in cotton twill. An Air Dior logo appears on a sweater— Carolina blue, naturally—that wouldn’t stand a chance in the paint. A satin flight jacket, a nod to MJ’s airtime-heavy game, isn’t what you’d toss on after warm-ups. This is refined stuff, better suited to the pregame tunnel than the hardwood.
And then there are the sneakers: both high- and low-tops, made in Italy, dressed in Dior gray, and finished with a jacquard swoosh. Sneakerheads are slobbering over them. So are fashion fans. They cost more than ten times what you’d pay for in-line Jordan 1’s, and when they arrive—initially launch was slated for this month, but the timing has been pushed owing to the current global pandemic—they’re going to sell out just as fast (or faster). Grail of grails.
This article appears in the April/May 2020 issue of Esquire.
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