“The reason these created such a stir was because everyone loves the Jordan IV, and this is the one and only collaboration Jordan brand has ever done. That, and the colorway and materials are timeless. It’s simply one of the best Jordan bodies of all time. Sometimes I still can’t believe they did this for me.”
— Eddie Cruz, UNDFTD
UNDFTD AIR JORDAN IV
The one and only.
To say the UNDFTD Air Jordan IV broke new ground is misleading in a sense, because no one else has been able to fill its giant herringbone-print shoes.
The first—and to this point, only—retailer to be allowed to create its own Air Jordan, UNDFTD took inspiration from the classic MA-1 flight jacket. The resulting sneaker was an olive drab banger with bright orange accents and airbag, and a Velcroed “Flight” patch on the tongue concealing subtle UNDFTD branding underneath. UNDFTD branding also appeared on the inside tongue tags, and the accompanying Incase nylon case.
Just 72 pairs were made available through a lottery system that required the purchase of a t-shirt to enter. The ensuing years have done nothing to diminish the impact or the importance of the UNDFTD Air Jordan IV. The style inspired the “Army Olive/Orange” Air Jordan V that was released a year later, but due to its scarcity, the UNDFTD IV remains many a Jordanhead’s holy grail. In fact, Complex named it the top sneaker of the 2000s. Got a problem with that? —Russ Bengtson
THE YEAR OF EXCESS
Pre-recession times meant lots of big spending.
BLING: In 2005, the world met Gucci Mane via his song “Icy.” The first words? “Where your bling at?” The assumption was that anyone listening to the Atlanta rapper’s debut had some, or wanted some. And Jeezy’s iconic snowman chain? The “house” around his neck? This was the year when the recession was just a glimmer in each diamond on every rapper’s chain.
BOTTLE SERVICE: The rise of super-premium vodkas like Grey Goose wouldn’t have been possible without knucklehead dot-commers flaunting their new scratch at the biggest clubs. Thus, bottle service reached a blustery peak around ’05. It was unheard of just a decade earlier, but you could now put down $400 for a bottle that retailed for a tenth of that. Because you had to let them know: You had a table, and you paid too much money for it.
SUVS: There’s excess, and there’s stupidity. In 2005, Hummer gave the world the H2 SUT, a regular (which is to say, ridiculous) H2 with a slight pickup bed—for extra hauling. Plunk down $51,995 for a vehicle that did around 10 miles per gallon, and start transporting...what, exactly? Maybe getting more people to the club to take better advantage of the bottle service? Hummer can’t say—it ceased production in 2010.