April 26, 2012 BY John Kim
As far as history goes, not only is the Air Jordan II is ‘up there’ among the most storied Jays in history, it’s is one of the most mysterious. A basic overview: the Air Jordan II is not a Hatfield product, but one of Bruce Kilgore’s, who set Nike Basketball to the level of sport-meets-style with 1982’s Nike Air Force 1. Some point to the Air Jordan II as the first truly distinct Air Jordan design as it was the first to carry an outside-the-box inspiration and concept (remember, the Air Jordan 1 was a mere spin-off of the Dunk); it was inspired by a 19th Century woman’s leather boot, using design lines and curves that made the sneaker appear less sporty and more towards the luxurious end of the spectrum, shedding the Swoosh as a whole and opting for a stylized ‘Wings’ logo that looked more like a symbol of a high-end luxury handbag than a basketball sneaker. It’s quite fitting considering all Air Jordan IIs were manufactured in Italy, and as consumers, we’re quick to believe that anything ‘Made in Italy’ will be built by premium craftsmanship, material, and design.
There’s plenty about the Air Jordan II that gives it a level of infamy of sorts; it broke the $100 barrier for the Air Jordan (we’re beyond double that today), and the original mold of the Air Jordan II was misplaced (either lost or stolen), forcing Nike to disassemble an original pair in order to re-create it for the 1994 Retro release. Just two colorways existed (and two similar low-top versions) – a stark contrast from the handful of team-based Air Jordan 1 colorways that were produced. The Air Jordan II was also a turning point for Michael Jordan’s loyalty to Nike, and it wasn’t until Kilgore was replaced by Tinker that MJ decided to stay with Nike and embark on such a legendary path to greatness. Although Kilgore’s tenure with the Air Jordan ended with the II, he is credited with bringing the luxury tier to the sneaker with the inspiration and the use of the faux-lizard skin material. We’ve got a look at a rare gem here – an Air Jordan II issue that was Made In Italy – so take a look and check out the steep price from this listing from gradykatz on eBay.
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