By Josh Allen
This past decade has seen a rise in the popularity of street-wear brands and an increase of high-end fashion into the mainstream. For years, these two ends of the industry have been separated from each other with very little interaction. This all changed in 2017, when Louis Vuitton and Supreme New York two giants of each industry, collaborated and opened the gateway for all sorts of extravagant collaboration between brands. H&M and Moschino, Uniqlo and Kaws as well as Palace Skateboards and Ralph Lauren have all collaborated and now Virgil Abloh of Off White is lead designer at Louis Vuitton.
Now we’re seeing yet another collaboration that is drawing all sorts of attention, Jordan Brand and Dior. Jordan Brand is legendary in its own right. Michael Jordan’s brand collaboration with Nike has been in the spotlight for the past 34 years, becoming a cult status item due to its importance in hip-hop culture and being seen as one of the most recognisable shoe brands in the industry. Jordan Brand hasn’t been shy to collaborations from all sorts of artistic directions such as the artist Dave White, Levi’s, and even higher end collaborations such as Off White and Fragment Design.
So, what makes this Dior collaboration so special? Well, Dior has been at the forefront of high-end fashion for just over 70 years now. Owned by LVMH, who own a majority of high-end fashion brands, it has remained one of the heavyweights of high-end fashion till this day, known for its flamboyant design and its heavy usage of floral designs. The lead designer for Dior; Kim Jones, is no stranger to collaborations with streetwear brands, having collaborated with Umbro, Kaws and with a collaboration planned with Stussy coming in 2020. Thus, collaborating with Jordan Brand would be a no brainer for Jones.
The collaboration only consists of one item: The Air Jordan 1 Sneaker. Utilising grey and white Italian leather throughout the shoe, a translucent ice blue sole with graphics of “Dior” and “Air Dior” being visible through the sole. The main talking point however is the Nike swoosh, consisting of the signature jacquard Dior monogram logo. The design is clean and luxurious, the grey hue a nod towards the colour that has been so prominent throughout Dior’s history.
However, the shoe has come under some criticism, with some people believing that the two brands could’ve created something a lot more flamboyant and colourful, especially with grey and white already being popular colours in the Air Jordan 1’s past. Criticism also comes of the numbers of pairs available: a measly 2,000. Speaking of 2,000, that’s how much the rumoured MSRP is; $2,000. Considering an Air Jordan 1 retails for $160, people are wondering whether the shoe is truly worth its money.
To a certain few, it certainly is. A pair has found it’s way on to the secondary market via StockX, a resale streetwear and shoe marketplace, and sold for £6,042. This high price is perhaps due to the fact this shoe isn’t due to release until April 2020.
In my personal opinion. This collaboration is for either die-hard Dior or for die-head Jordan fans, either way, this shoe is not one for the faint hearted and it’s unlikely that the average Jordan fan will be able to add this to the collection. The concept of a Jordan and Dior shoe excited many people, including myself, however its poor execution and high price tag has ruined what could have been such an exciting collaboration. The use of such high quality leather is a nice touch but is perhaps why this show has been priced so high. In addition to this, its limited numbers mean there will be serious demand for these on the secondary market, and as such will mean that it won’t just be fans of the two brands that will be aiming to buy these. Resellers will be looking to make a quick buck off of these shoes, causing a competition when it comes to those looking to buy the shoe.
To summarise, I believe that this collaboration could have been a celebration of two gods of their respective industries; cementing their positions at the top and being a further demonstration that high-end fashion and streetwear collaborations can be accessible for all.