The legacy of the Air Jordan 1 wasn't simply built on the basketball court. The iconic shoe's rebellious image didn't end when the infamous black and red rendition was banned by the NBA either. Unintended by Nike, MJ's signature series was adopted by the burgeoning skate community. Breaking from tradition, hitting bigger and badder ramps, skaters needed support. The Air Jordan 1 — with its full grain leather upper and high-cut ankle — offered just that. And, in 1987, when video footage of Lance Mountain wearing two colors of the AJ1 at the same damn time, the sneaker grabbed a place in skate history.
Though initially accidental, the connection between Jordan Brand and skating has blossomed over time. In 2005, Tinker Hatfield re-worked the P-Rod 1 for a special edition blending design cues from the Jordan XIII with a liberal application of elephant print. The shoe also featured Jumpman logos on the tongue and heel, offering a promise of future collaborations. Given the AJ1s connection to skateboarding, the model has been rumored for SB release for years. Now, in 2014, dreams are finally coming true with the release of the Nike SB x Air Jordan 1.
The first of three Nike SB x Air Jordan shoes, and one of two collaborations, highlights the work of artist Craig Stecyk. Drawing inspiration from his famous 1989 installation, Northwest Passage, originally installed at Los Angeles' Meyers/Bloom Gallery and filled with spray painted bronze cast objects, Stecyk presents the silhouette in green-and-black. On the heel, Stecyk's placed "AJ ONE SB." The tonal lettering echoes a typeface designed by Stecyk in 1982, and the inscription is mirrored on the Nike SB x AJ1 insole.
Look out for a Lance Mountain edition of the Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 next.
The Craig Stecyk Nike SB x Air Jordan 1 will be available in limited quantities at select Nike SB and Jordan retailers and nike.com beginning March 15.