As I signed on the dotted line, I signed away $143.24. In return, I was given the newest pair of Kobe’s to hit stores. While some may consider it a waste, some consider it hobby and to others a passion. Like car collectors, coin collectors or even stamp collectors, shoe collectors are plenty in numbers.
The shoe that started it all became the starting point of what would undoubtedly launch a new chapter in lifestyle and culture. The Air Jordan 1.
Launching in 1985, Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan’s, were first banned by the NBA for its violation of its color schemes. Still this did nothing but help the sales of the Air Jordan’s. Instead, the Air Jordan’s were advertised as being the reason that Michael was so good in the first place. They made him so good, the NBA wouldn’t allow him to use them. Of course, this made people want them more. Along with the new shoe came Michael Jordan himself. Michael Jordan became one of the most popular sports figure of his time. Through his flashy dunks and acrobatic moves, MJ won fans on and off the court.
The new Air Jordan’s created a whole now lifestyle and culture. From inner city kids who made them a must-have, to suburban kids who wanted to have a piece of “his greatness”, the shoe became a cultural lightning bolt. Selling at around three figures, Air Jordan’s made getting one a status symbol as well as lifestyle. Proof of which can be seen from gang violence in which individuals were killed for there Jordan’s.
While many would say that they are just ‘shoes’, let us dissect what exactly they mean by that. As a society we have certain ideas on what is appropriate attire. For example, wearing a suit and tie to a meeting is appropriate while wearing jeans is not. The Air Jordan has become a new symbol. Not only does it represent just a ‘shoe’, but it represents the whole lifestyle and culture of basketball. Athletes buy the shoes in hopes that they can have a shed of ‘Jordan’ in them, while others buy them just to be part of the culture. In some cases, Jordan’s have become part of ones wardrobe on a daily basis.
Whatever the case may be, when a boy or girl begins to tie the laces to there Jordan’s they are putting on a piece of history. They are putting on the shoe that Michael Jordan helped create. Michael Jordan wanted to create a shoe that was stylish and trend setting while comfortable and supportive to the athlete. Not only has he done this, but he has created something else.