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Michael Jordan in GQ Magazine – March 1989

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While many younger sneakerheads have only known classic Air Jordans as Retros, some of us were actually around for the original releases. Back in 1989, sneaker culture was not even really a concept yet, but many of us were instantly pulled in by those early glory days of Nike and the Air Jordan line. Before there were internet stores, eBay and blogs, you had to be resourceful and actually hunt down your kicks by foot with a lot less options to work with. The term sneakerhead hadn’t even been coined yet, but we were out there drooling over everything that was emerging from the golden Tinker Hatfield era.

Without the world wide web, print media was a go-to source for info on the kicks and players we loved, but without sneaker magazines, it was rare to get a look at some Air Jordans in anything other than Sports Illustrated or the local sneaker store. Many were smart enough to hold onto their OG Jordans, and we see those on the regular, but here is a look at something a little more obscure. Just as he was becoming the NBA’s biggest star, a young Michael Jordan was featured on the cover of the March 1989 GQ Magazine, a testament to Mike’s style and a bold move to feature an athlete on the magazine’s cover.

One veteran sneakerhead had the foresight to jack this from his local library as a kid back in 1989, and was kind enough to share it with us 20 years later. Knowing the Jordan love out there in sneakerland, we figured our readers might appreciate it too. Keep reading to check out some more pics of the MJ cover and article, as well as a look at some vintage Nike and Foot Locker advertisements. Big thanks to CK for the hook-up.

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