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AVIA Looks To Recapture Late ’80s Basketball Nostalgia The Right Way With 2023 Retro Releases

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UPDATE 5/31/2023:
According to correspondence with Avia, the Avia is Back project is not affiliated with the brand in any way. They go on to state that the 880 and 830 will return in an official capacity at a later date.

AVIA is back.

Founded in Oregon in 1979 by Jerry Stubblefield, the North American sportswear company has been obviously absent from the mainstream sneaker zeitgeist for the large part of two decades, but its influence has been omni-present. The father-and-son duo that operated AVIA prior to its acquisition by Reebok revolutionized the footwear space with the development of the cantilever sole, a sort of “trampoline” design for which AVIA successfully sued Nike in 1991. But while various sneaker silhouettes have emulated the concave sole solution that debuted 43 years ago, the most notable rip of AVIA’s hard work arrived over the last handful of years in the form of Virgil Abloh’s LV Trainer Sneaker Boot for Louis Vuitton.

The late Abloh’s proposition arrived in the midst of a shift in consumer interest from highly-technical performance models to classic basketball shoes from the 1980s. Several brands rehashed old and new styles of their decades-old designs, with AVIA’s story largely in the mix only because of savvy collectors and enthusiasts of vintage sneakers. Over the next couple of months, however, the brand will reintroduce itself and its iconic 880 and 830 models to the sneaker space-at-large.

Teased by Instagram user @velourlab (run by @velour), which will help curate AVIA’s return, the 880 is expected to re-release in January 2023. Unlike the retros the sneaker community has grown accustomed to, AVIA’s reissue of the shoe once worn by both Scottie Pippen and Clyde Drexler kept everything true to the original, down to the last stitch. The quality and colorway of the shoe – and its AVIA 830 counterpart – will deliver old and new fans alike an accurate experience from the late ’80s, an era that’s birthed many of the sneakers currently en vogue. No production numbers for the retros have been disclosed by the brand, but AVIA’s millimetric attention to detail suggests the brand is concerned with quality over quantity. (How refreshing!)

Keep an eye on the @aviaisback Instagram account and aviaisback.com website for launch details. The sneaker will reportedly drop in March in a quantity of just 1,000 pairs.