Discussing everything from inspirations such as Michael Jordan to his current design process, Abloh dissects the story behind the Jordan Chicago Collaborators’ Collection and the upcoming signature sneaker. The designer begins by explaining “The Ten,” telling Jordan Brand “I had my half-made design language, like the previous Off-White™ x Air Jordan I, which was about deconstruction… That’s a three-year-old idea that I’m not interested in anymore. That design language has evolved.”
Following on from “The Ten” is a huge feat for the renowned multifaceted designer, who now aims to redefine the idea of Nike Air itself. Abloh has expanded his design process by creating sneakers that incorporate holes, stating “the same air that’s outside is in the product. So that’s why there are holes in the box, too.” Inspired by the nostalgia of the Black Metallic Air Jordan 5 — the first pair his parents bought for him — Abloh goes on to explain that the pair were “like they came from a superhero. I was sleeping with the shoes in my bedroom, on the dresser, so I could see them when I woke up.”
Describing the importance of Michael Jordan and his iconic sneakers, Abloh concludes:
“MJ was a man who became a superhero. He was jumping from the free-throw line, winning six championships, doing the impossible. In design, I feel like I’m at my best if I can almost mirror how impossible those tasks were. …You could give a kid a bed sheet and tell them to fly. Or you could give them a replica of a superhero cape. They’re going to believe that they’re flying, even though, either way, it’s just fabric. That’s what Air Jordans are to me. Yes, they’re just shoes, but MJ was doing feats in them. If you give a pair of shoes to a kid, and tell them to jump from the free-throw line, that’s their superhero cape. That’s what I love. It’s about believing.”
The full Jordan Chicago Collaborators’ Collection, including the Off-White™ x Air Jordan 5, is set to release globally from February 15.
In related news, here’s everything you need to know about this week’s biggest sneaker drops.