Beaverton, Oregon, USA


Phil Knight (Nike)


Peter B. Moore, the first Creative Director of Nike, was the one who designed the Jordan 1.


The high prices come from how the company makes and markets its iconic sneakers, along with the rich history behind not only individual shoes but the creation of Air Jordans as a whole.


Yes, Air Jordan is a line of basketball shoes owned and produced by Nike, Inc.


In 1984, Nike salesman Sonny Vaccaro convinced Nike to reach out and make a deal with NBA rookie Michael Jordan, offering him a five-year contract of 15 million dollars.

Phil Knight stated that "Signing with Jordan was the best decisions I've ever made in my life."


Jordan Brand, more commonly referred to as Air Jordan or simply Jordan, is a sportswear brand specializing in basketball sneakers and apparel. The brand was first introduced by Nike in 1984 as a signature footwear line for NBA basketball player Michael Jordan. The popularity of Jordan’s signature shoes on and off the court has made it one of the most successful sneaker brands ever, producing some of the world’s most coveted silhouettes. In 1984, Nike produced its first signature shoe for Michael Jordan, the Air Jordan 1. The shoe bore many similarities to other Nike basketball models at the time, such as the Nike Air Ship and Air Force One.

A common misconception is that the black & red colorway of the Air Jordan 1 was banned by the NBA for violating uniform rules at the time, but this is incorrect – the model in question was in fact a Nike Air Ship, but Nike have nonetheless capitalised on the “banned” myth, referring to the black & red Nike Air Jordan 1 as the “banned” model. In the years that followed, Nike continued to release a series of signature models for Jordan, each experiencing incredible popularity. Today, there are over 20 signature models, but sneaker collectors generally focus on particular colorways of the first 12 silhouettes. Since the early ‘00s, the brand has produced re releases, or “retros”, of the most popular silhouettes, with increasing frequency in recent years. Today, Jordan Brand sponsors numerous other professional basketball players, as well as athletes in other sports such as baseball, American football, and even NASCAR.

Jordan Brand has also begun to expand into lifestyle products and everyday adaptations of their original basketball models. In 2014, for example, Jordan Brand created a tennis adaptation of the Air Jordan 3 model for tennis pro Roger Federer. In 2017, the Air Jordan 1 was included in Virgil Abloh’s groundbreaking “The Ten” collaboration, alongside other iconic Nike and Converse models.


As Michael entered his NBA rookie year, he was approached to sign a shoe deal with Adidas, Converse, and Nike. Out of the three, Jordan signs a groundbreaking endorsement deal with Nike to create the Air Jordan line. This is because when Nike unveiled the initial design of the shoe and Jordan expressed his dissatisfaction with the colorway, Nike took Jordan's criticism into account, and showed him that their aim is to elevate him and give him a signature shoe line instead of promoting preexisting ones.


The first Air Jordan, the AJ1, is released. Its design, featuring the iconic wings logo and the banned black and red colorway, generates controversy and immense popularity.


Successive Air Jordan models (AJ2 through AJ7) are released annually, each incorporating innovative designs and technologies. The AJ3 introduces the Jumpman logo.


The Air Jordan VIII is released, and Michael Jordan retires from basketball for the first time.


MJ returns to the NBA, and the Air Jordan XI is released, becoming a cultural phenomenon. The AJ12 through AJ14 models follow.


Michael Jordan wear the Air Jordan XIII during the 1998 NBA Finals. The sneakers are also known as Jordan's "Last Dance."

Michael Jordan retires for the second time, and the Air Jordan XV is released.


Retro releases of earlier Air Jordans begin, sparking a resurgence of interest in the classics.


Air Jordan Retro releases continue, and the brand expands with lifestyle models and collaborations.


The Air Jordan XX8 introduces a modern design, and subsequent models blend innovation with retro aesthetics. Collaborations with designers and artists continue to make Air Jordans highly sought after. The Air Jordan 35 is released, marking the latest installment in the numbered series.


The Air Jordan XIII pair, famously dubbed the "Last Dance" sneakers, worn by MJ in the 1998 NBA Finals, fetched $2.2 million at an auction on April 5th, 2023.


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Air Jordan Highlights

  • The Complete History of the Nike Air Jordan 1

  • The Complete History of the Nike Air Jordan 3

  • Nike’s Air Jordan 4: The Basics & the Best Releases of All Time

  • The 6 Sneakers Michael Jordan Wore When He Became a Champion

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