For the first time ever on one stage, the past, present and future of the Air Jordan legacy gathered at Nike OFF-CAMPUS in NYC to discuss the culture around “Flight.” Designer of the Ten Icons collection, Virgil Abloh, moderated the panel led by Spike Lee, Don C, and Aleali May.
Spike Lee, who as the character Mars Blackmon and Director of Do The Right Thing is arguably responsible for helping Air Jordans explode off-court and into culture, shared a special moment when he officially became part of the Michael Jordan story. Coming off of directing the film “She’s Gotta Have It” where the fictional character Mars Blackmon debuted, Spike was tapped by Nike to star in a commercial with Jordan. At the time, Michael hadn’t seen the movie and definitely didn’t know who Spike Lee was. The vibrant outspoken Director told the Nike OFF-CAMPUS crowd that Michael spotted him wearing Jordans casually and the GOAT admitted that’s what won him over. What was supposed to be two commercials, blossomed into a wonderful friendship and partnership that continues to flourish today.
Don C, Chicago native Air Jordan 2 collaborator and someone who Virgil prefaced as the street almanac for all things Michael Jordan, got on the mic to explain the cultural impact of the man and his sneakers. The first to hoop in gold chains, the first to switch to low socks and the first to get his sneakers banned for being different, these are all things that we now consider part of culture. As Don C adamantly explained, Michael Jordan invented the culture.
Aleali May, the Fashionista and youngest on the panel, admitted she was born in 1992, but loves 1985 Air Jordan 1’s. Being too young to grasp the golden years of Michael Jordan’s career, her love for the signature line was invigorated by how the sneakers were worn in the street, the collaborations, and how each generation interprets the style of Air Jordan.
This panel showed the evolution of the Jordan brand and perhaps a look at the future where creatives and fashionistas push the iconic linage for 10 more years rather than any athlete.
Grab an exclusive inside look below at the Nike OFF-CAMPUS “FLIGHT” & Air Jordan 1 Panel with Spike Lee, Don C, & Aleali May.