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J Balvin’s Air Jordan 2 Collaboration Kicks Off Hispanic Heritage Month, Champions Mental Wellness

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José Álvaro Osorio Balvín – known internationally as “J Balvin” – has made history more than once in his 37 years of life. Recently, the Colombian superstar made waves in both the mental health awareness and fashion industries with the launch of the OYE wellness app and Air Jordan 2 collaboration. Whereas some would choose to keep these worlds apart over fear of profit losses, Balvin has been a proponent of using every channel at his disposal to share the causes closest to him.

“I wanted the [Air Jordan] collection to reflect my mental health journey in a creative way,” Balvin told Sneaker News via email. “I wanted it to reflect how you need to walk through moments of darkness to find the light. Coming up with this concept was a very therapeutic, creative experience for me.”

The “Prince of Reggaeton” has vocalized his relationship with anxiety over the past two years, which have been heightened with the birth of his son, Rio, on June 27th, 2021. A glance at the latest “Air Balvin” collection – which launched today and had its retro Jordan 2 shoes quickly sell out – demonstrates how top-of-mind mental wellness has been for the reggaetonero (Balvin and his Jumpman family even developed a new brain logo for the capsule!). Labels found across t-shirts, sweaters and other items also featured messaging reminding wearers to “Take care of your mind. Jump for your dreams.”

“I want this collection to bring people hope and inspiration,” Balvin said. “We all have moments of darkness. But as long as we allow the light to guide us, we will always find our way through it.”

Customers lucky enough to secure a pair of the 37-year-old’s second Air Jordan sneaker can rely on the pair’s light-up logo on the tongue – inspired by Buzz Lightyear shoes Balvin wore as a child – and glow-on-the-dark finish on the outsole. Everyone, however, will be able to use community-based OYE app in their mental wellness journeys. The platform is available to all, but has a particular focus on Spanish-English content as a way to address widespread stigma associated with depression, anxiety, therapy and other mental health conversations within the Latinx community.

The launch of both initiatives wasn’t coincidental: September 15th marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. As the first Latino collaborator on an Air Jordan project, J Balvin understands his work is for more than just himself.

“Launching [the Air Balvin] collection today, the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, was…very important,” the superstar said. “Anything I do is always done with the intention of highlighting my Colombian roots. My Hispanic heritage is everything to me because it made me the person I am today. I’m gearing up for my Latin American tour in October so it will be so amazing to connect with so many fans within the Latino culture.”

The global artist didn’t comment on what’s next for himself and his relationship with Michael Jordan’s eponymous label, but the #LATINOGANG-frontman will surely continue playing an important role in expanding #23’s legacy, all while continuing to create his own.