by Ben Osborne
Greetings from Miami, where I’m honored to be part of the “Editor’s Preview” of the Air Jordan 2010, the 25th edition of the industry’s most storied line.
There was lots of buzz last week about this shoe, including some pics we linked to, but—thankfully, in my opinion—those turned out to be off. The main feature in this new shoe is a transparent circle in the middle, which looks pretty fresh. Considering the big beef with the other version posted was the big logo, which no doesn’t exist, my guess is that JordanHeads will be pleased.
As exciting as the new shoe is the announcement that Dwyane Wade, who jumped from Converse to Jordan over the summer, will be wearing the shoes on-court this season (February 13th is expected to be his first game in the 010s). Since fellow Jordan Brand NBAers Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul get their own shoes under the Jordan umbrella, and since Mike obviously isn’t wearing his eponymous joints in games anymore, it makes perfect sense to me to put one of the game’s greatest and most exciting players in the shoes.
Overall, Jordan Brand is announcing and showcasing this news in a high-class way, as usual. As our man Russ Bengtson has been detailing on Twitter, Jordan Brand flew a bunch of journalists from around the country (and the world—SLAM China is in the house!) down to Miami yesterday.
After we arrived we were taken on a luxury yacht—decorated with pillows marked with the Jumpman logo—around Miami. After that sweet opening, a bus took us all to The Temple House, the “largest single family home in South Beach.”
We took our seats and then Jordan’s legendary designer Tinker Hatfield took over. He chatted with his colleague, Mark Smith, and then brought Michael himself up on stage. Michael excitedly unveiled the shoe, then brought Dwyane out to speak as well and do a little q+a with the assembled media.
We weren’t allowed to take photos, but it was a good-looking, fast-moving event that definitely honored a shoe of this magnitude. And Jordan did release this pic of their big tandem…
I’ll do a nice write-up on the entire event—which also included a trip to Norland HS this morning where Jordan Brand donated $10,000 and the Cav-Heat game tonight—in SLAM 135, but here are some key soundbites I jotted down last night:
Tinker: “These are versatile shoes that can be worn all over the court.”
Smith: “We’re very excited about the fit.”
Wade: “I’m excited. Michael keeps telling me he wants to see this shoe in the air, not on the ground.”
MJ: “The window doesn’t take away from the performance. We want to be trendy, we want to be stylish, but we still want to be a high-performing basketball shoe.”
MJ: “Sometimes you have to pass the torch, and Dwyane is a great fit. Him being from Chicago, already won a championship, great work ethic…” BUT, MJ being MJ… “He is wearing my shoes. I’m not wearing his.”
MJ: “We can make better use of him. Sorry, Converse.”
After the q+a’s, Mike and Dwyane bounced while Jordan execs and the invited press went upstairs and enjoyed dinner and drinks.
Back at the hotel, as the Suns-Hornets blowout was putting me to sleep, Jordan Brand sent out the official press release about the shoe and Dwyane’s role as the first player to wear it. Here it is…
November 11, 2009 – Today, Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., announced the upcoming launch of its 25th anniversary AIR JORDAN 2010 shoe. Celebrating a quarter-century of innovative design and genre-inspiring style, Jordan Brand created the AIR JORDAN 2010 to pay respect to the legacy of Michael Jordan in basketball while passing on the heritage of the sport to the talented Team Jordan athletes, such as Dwyane Wade, who will be the first to debut the AIR JORDAN 2010.
“The celebration of the AIR JORDAN 2010 and our 25th anniversary are the pinnacle of a year full of milestones for me,” said Michael Jordan. “With each shoe, consumers have pushed me to take the next AIR JORDAN beyond their wildest imagination. The AIR JORDAN 2010 marks the future of Jordan Brand and proves there are no limits to what this Brand is capable of creating.”
Acclaimed shoe designers Tinker Hatfield, Vice President of Special Projects/Design for NIKE and Mark Smith, Creative Director for Jordan Brand, collaborated with Michael Jordan on the AIR JORDAN 2010, taking the literal interpretation of Jordan’s ability to see through his opponents by creating the Brand’s first see-through performance basketball shoe featuring a unique transparent thermoplastic urethane (TPU) window.
“The AIR JORDAN 2010 pays homage to Jordan’s ability to know his opponents next move while only giving hints of his ability and allowing the players to only see what he wanted them to see on the court,” said Tinker Hatfield. “His keen instinct for anticipating his challengers’ next move and disguising his own techniques are just a few of the attributes that led to him being named the greatest basketball player ever to play the game.”
To assist all basketball players’ game while wearing the shoe, Hatfield and Smith also designed the AIR JORDAN 2010 with a revolutionary new concept to performance basketball footwear – a layered toe construction that has an independent forefoot support cover. This innovative design technique allows the AIR JORDAN 2010 to mimic an actual foot’s flexibility and movement without being restricted by the shoe’s structures, assisting in a player’s ability to be more agile in the game.
Since 1984 when Jordan wore the first AIR JORDAN sneaker, AIR JORDAN has become one of the world’s most recognizable franchises known for its signature Jumpman logo, innovative performance technology and fashion-forward style memorializing the sneakers into popular culture history. Jordan Brand has adapted the AIR JORDAN to the changing fashion landscape in its 25 years, utilizing the importance of green technology by making the AIR JORDAN XX3, AIR JORDAN 2009 and now the AIR JORDAN 2010 under Nike’s Considered Design ethos of combining sustainability with performance and innovation.
Jordan Brand launches the AIR JORDAN 2010 nationwide on Saturday, February 13, 2010 for a suggested retail price of $170. Retailer information can be found at www.Jumpman23.com.