VERSUS: Can Colabs Save the Air Jordan 2?
The Air Jordan 2 is the earliest outlier in the Jordan Brand lineage. Sure, being stuck between what many sneakerheads consider to be the two greatest Air Jordans of all time is an unenviable position to be in. Michael Jordan was even considering leaving Nike after the model was released, until a young and hungry Tinker Hatfield reeled him back in with the AJ3!
And there's more to the controversial design's unique slice of history. Designed by Bruce Kilgore and made in Italy, it was basically the first high-fashion sport sneaker ever. Expensive, elegant, and understated, it's now coming back with a bang thanks to colabs with Virgil Abloh, Union and J Balvin!
So let’s have a friendly debate: is the Air Jordan 2 going to be saved or is it 2 far gone? Read on and cast your vote to have your say!
I’m sorry. Not even Virgil Abloh’s Midas touch can save Bruce Kilgore’s Air Jordan 2. Hell, Michael Jordan himself wasn't even a fan of his sophomore sneaker. Legend has it, the Italian nouveau styling nearly made His Airness defect to adi!
'HANDS OFF!' Off-White's upcoming adaptation is one of Abloh's most unique colabs, a piece of memorabilia and a sneaker all wrapped into one. What more could you want?
You're even a fan of the faux-cracked midsoles?
Yes, I am. It's a lot, but it's a head-turner – you have to love the paradox of putting so much time and effort into making a brand-new sneaker look like it's falling apart. Like it was time-warped forward 35 years.
Okay, let’s give Abloh buckets for archival integrity. That still doesn’t mean I’m going to lace them. Folks have been walking around ComplexCon all weekend saying that they're uncomfortable. Where’s the Air in the damn sole?
Crumbling away, just like my hopes and dreams of getting a pair. It's in there, just a little harder to feel because of that unique construction! I'd trade a little comfort for an MJ signature and some Helvetica text any day.
What wouldn't you trade for Helvetica text...
Look, I get it. It’s the anniversary year for the AJ2 in 2022. But do you really think something this icy is going to heat the AJ2? What happened to the signature lizard skin?
Union replaced it with perforated uppers! And yes, this Union colab will no doubt heat the AJ2. I think it's the perfect combination of past and present, nobody in the game right now has a knack for refreshing silhouettes with a unique retro sportswear flair quite like Union does. We thought we'd seen it all on the Air Jordan 1 and Air Jordan 4... but they changed the game with both of those colabs, and showed that there's always more juice to squeeze out of a classic. This 2 might not be reinventing the wheel in the same way, but the sample tag is clever and the stripped-back look maximises the its best features. This Union is a harmonious one, don't you think?
NGL, the Union x Air Jordan 1 is actually one of the most aesthetically 'harmonious' Jumpman collaborations I've ever seen. But the AJ2?
Well, that's your L to take.
If Don C and Eminem couldn’t really revive the silhouette, what makes you think Off-White and Union will? The only thing that’s aged uglier than Em’s AJ2s are his LPs.
Don C's Air Jordan 2s were a hit! They sold out quickly, their resell value is strong – I hate that those are barometers of success, but such is the world in which we live – and, most importantly, it was the ultimate expression of what the model was supposed to represent: Italian luxury. Super-premium leather, Chanel-inspired quilted details, matching jackets? C'mon. Those were the ultimate marriage of hoops and high fashion, and a really damn unique colab to boot. I also agree that they aren't the best looking shoe of all time, but remember: when they came out, rapper sneakers weren't a 'thing'. They deserve respect off of that alone!
Look, if you can show me a picture of you actually stunting the Air Jordan 2s, then you can drain my crypto. But regardless, it still won't convince me that upcoming colabs can save the AJ2!
I feel like I'm cutting a WWE promo here, but – it's going down November 12. A high-flyin', slam dunkin', showdown for the ages (or at least a resolution to our debate). Besides, it's the consumer that will decide whether the AJ2 is back or not. And I've got a damn good feeling about it! Fit pics incoming!