Progress in footwear requires a balanced harmony of the right shoes, the right apparel, the right ambassadors, and the right athletes. All are fluctuating contributors to what makes things go particularly in today’s unpredictable ecosystem of hype-driven consumerism. Jordan Brand has had a bounty of those ingredients for years, but it’s always looking to maneuver new paths – even if the destination isn’t clearly mapped out on their navigation systems. Their goal is to create lasting imprints in new territory, and sometimes that means leaving some of the older baggage behind.
Beginning last Fall, Jordan launched an initiative known as Future Flight. When used alone, those two words are simple and common verbiage in general discussions of brands, but when put together it generates a language that only the Jumpman can champion. It’s a promise of a truly game-changing outlook that blends the heritage of the GOAT and a modern outlook that are right for both the loyalists and prospective consumers. During Paris Fashion Week at the House of Jumpman, we were shown what exactly that promise was – and how this explorative new phase will shape the next era.
Starting with athletes, Jordan Brand expanded its premiere roster with Jayson Tatum, one of the league’s most promising stars. Considered to be the face of the Celtics, the former Duke standout has already ingrained a guarantee of success to the Boston fanbase and is poised to be one of the faces at the forefront of the brand moving forward. Earlier this year, Tatum played an equally valuable role for Nike as he introduced the Adapt BB to the public for the first time, but a direct pitch by Michael Jordan himself was unquestionably the deciding factor. Tatum says “to be on Jordan, you have to be approved by Jordan, and honestly it’s the highest approval one can get”.
In addition to revealing Tatum as its new athlete, Jordan also featured some upcoming colorways of Russell Westbrook’s Why Not ZER0.2 SE signature shoe. This alternate version is a slightly modified iteration of the original as it adds leather/suedes in place of the thicker overlays and actually weighs less than the standard model.
It was only fitting to see the next chapter of their partnership with Paris Saint-Germain. A deep capsule of apparel, accessories and footwear was presented with a recurring “Infrared” theme, adding the unmistakable pop of color to the first black/white collection from last Fall. The Jordan PSG collection is set to release in late June. The opening of House of Jumpman also coincided with the annual QUAI54 basketball tournament, which gathered the city’s biggest hoops fans to celebrate the game on a global level.
23 ENGINEERED, the apparel concept that debuted in the Fall of 2018, continues with a broad new range that introduces vibrant new colors that go beyond the traditional DNA of Jordan gear. The collection places functionality at its core and expands on its practicality with impressive designs and a boxier fit that hangs naturally off the body. Some of the key unveilings is the multi-layered mesh tech vest, the fully knit jersey, the ventilated running jacket, and a women’s jumpsuit. On the footwear end, the 23 ENGINEERED ethos continues with models like the Proto React and Proto Max 720, while the Jordan Latitude 720 silhouette offers a stylish spin off the Air Jordan 8 – all while being built with 70 percent recycled waste.
On the performance end is the all-new Jordan Trunner NXT, the newest inclusion to the training/running hybrid category that debuted in the early 2000s. Designed by Tinker Hatfield, the Trunner NXT was designed for the needs of the team athlete looking for conditioning and speed-training rather than the serious runner looking to shave milliseconds off of 100m times. The shoe features full-length React cushioning and an exterior Diamond Frame for stability, while the Flight Fin at the heel supports heel-to-toe movements. The lightweight Engineered Woven upper is also conducive to intricate patterns and prints as seen on the two HTM iterations as well as the in-line styles. Additionally, a forefoot frame lies beneath the surface to add further lockdown.
The Trunner LT features the same aspects, only the midsole is Cushlon and is priced at $110 compared to the NXT’s $150. The React Havoc running shoe is rife with performance tech as well; it features a full-length React cushioning with forefoot Zoom, a stretchy breathable upper, and a protruding heel cap. All three models (Trunner NXT, Trunner LT, React Havoc) release on July 1st.