The Air Jordan series is steeped heavily in rich, and often unusual, inspiration. From the black panther origins of the Air Jordan 13, to the Ferrari F355 roots of the Air Jordan 14, all the way up to the Air Jordan 15, which found inspiration in the most peculiar of sources – Jordan's habit of thrusting out his tongue when driving the ball to the hoop.
For the Air Jordan 16, designer Wilson Smith drew inspiration from MJ's second, and seemingly final, retirement with a shoe designed to convey his transition from the basketball court to the boardroom. The result was a clean, layered design with the business end of the shoe concealed beneath a minimalist shroud or 'Spat'.
Created under the guidance of veteran design legend Tinker Hatfield, the AJ16 underwent a multitude of concept sketches before settling on its now immortal construction. In the lead-up to the long-awaited return of the OG 'Midnight Navy' Air Jordan 16, Jordan Brand have revealed these imaginative designs to the public – many for the very first time.