“What if?” is a question that’s arguably touched every story that’s ever taken place. One such realm in which those two words appear time and time again is sports. Recently, Chicago’s Joe Freshgoods has pondered “What if?” about Michael Jordan’s brand allegiance.
Inspired by a special edition of Life magazine from Summer 1984, Freshgoods’ next collaborative project – the New Balance 650 “Stuntman” – explores the idea of Jordan signing with New Balance and not Nike almost 40 years ago. The special issue features a photo taken by Jacobus Rentmeester depicting a young Jordan in flight. The photo served as the inspiration for the iconic Jumpman logo (which led Rentmeester to sue the Swoosh), and showcased the eventual Chicago Bulls legend in a pair of white-colored New Balance sneakers. This part of “His Airness”‘ sneaker history has purposely gone without thorough documentation, but Joe Freshgoods has used it as the platform for his first NB 650.
“A few years ago, while going through old magazines for reference material, I stumbled upon a photograph of someone ‘Special’ wearing a pair of NB’s in…a photoshoot,” wrote Freshgoods in an Instagram post unveiling the “Stuntman” pair. “And I simply thought to myself, ‘What if the story was different’?”
The Chicago-native recreated the New Balance 650 in a color scheme similar to the pair MJ once wore in the 1980s, keeping things relatively neutral. Co-branding appears all-throughout the sneaker, with typical “650” embroidery on the lateral quarter panel being replaced with “JFG” lettering. The sneaker is limited to just 500 pairs, all hand-numbered by Freshgoods himself. Special packaging houses the sneaker, which JFG describes as “art project” more than commercial sneaker release.
Enjoy detailed looks at the pair ahead, and anticipate an exclusive launch on Saturday, September 9th. Retail pricing hasn’t been disclosed by Freshgoods, but similar collaborations in the past have had an MSRP of $165 USD.
For more sneaker news, check out the latest New Balance 990v6 releases.
Photos by Nolis Anderson via Joe Freshgoods