Close to two years ago, Jordan Brand opened the doors of its first European flagship store in Paris. It was around this time, in November 2016, when discussions started about a Paris Saint-Germain x Jordan collaboration, according to Jordan Brand president Larry Miller.
On September 13, a plethora of celebrities, athletes, and journalists gathered at PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium for the official unveiling of the soccer club’s apparel and footwear collaboration with Jordan, part of a three-year deal between the two institutions. Paris-born World Cup winner and PSG forward Kylian Mbappé was at the center of the presentation, flanked by PSG teammate Dani Alves, hip-hop artists Wale and Fabolous, Jordan collaborator Aleali May, and sibling dance duo Les Twins, among others.
Highsnobiety was there to talk sneakers and the Jumpman spirit with Mbappé and Jordan representatives.
As we know now, two pillars of the Jordan footwear catalog — the I and V silhouettes — are part of the collection, with updated PSG colorways and “ICI C’EST PARIS” stitched under the tongues of the V in place of the “AIR JORDAN” badge. Apparel such as headwear and the team’s new home and away Champions League uniforms round out the capsule, with the Eiffel Tower swapped out for the iconic Jumpman in the club’s crest on all items bar the new kits.
The drop also includes a friends-and-family Jordan V in a predominantly white color scheme, which we spotted on the feet of Mbappé himself, who told Highsnobiety during an exclusive chat, “I saw them this morning. I was told that they are very limited edition. They’re beautiful, so I’m proud to wear them. For me, it’s an honor to be able to wear these shoes. It’s the quality that matters.”
The collaboration adds new strings to Jordan Brand’s bow as a major player in both performance and style. Miller attributes the collaboration to the cross-category appeal of the Jumpman spirit, noting that “Jordan represents sports across the board,” not only basketball.
May also spoke with Highsnobiety at the event, telling us, “For me, the Jumpman spirit means trying to be the greatest at whatever I’m doing.”
PSG debuted the black Jordan kit on September 18 in an opening-day Champions League defeat at Liverpool, while a recent policy change means NBA players will be able to rock the PSG x Jordans on the court when the season gets underway next month. May names Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, J.R. Smith, and LeBron James as players she’d like to see lace up the limited sneakers.
“To be able to rep Paris on the court in the NBA, that’s dope,” May says. “That’s the thing about Jordan: not only is it a leader in sports and streetwear, but we’re worldwide, you know? It’s cool to spread the love.”
Jordan VP of design David Creech tells Highsnobiety, “I’m extremely excited to see the Jumpman logo on the pitch. First time ever, so we’re kind of making history here.”
Creech tells us how the Jordan design team settled on the Jordan I and Jordan V silhouettes as the two footwear inclusions: “The I is just a staple in everything that we do. So we felt like, when we talk about style and off-pitch, the I is a must. We also did the V with Neymar. So, kind of taking that same insight, and then adding the touches of PSG for that particular shoe.”
Nineteen-year-old Mbappé seemed genuinely excited about the collaboration, rocking head-to-toe Jordan x PSG during our discussion. “It’s an exceptional opportunity to present Jordan in Europe and the whole world,” he says.
On match days, Mbappé is now faced with a tough choice between his PSG x Jordan cleats and the orange OFF-WHITE Mercurials he wore earlier in 2018. “I haven’t met [Virgil Abloh] yet, but it’s true that we had a collaboration with Nike for a pair of cleats that I wore last April,” he says. “They were incredible, very beautiful and original — flashy as well. I had an orange pair, and frankly, I’d be happy if we had another collaboration in the future.”
So would we, Kylian.
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