Flash back to February 2002. Usher's "U Got It Bad" ruled the Billboard charts, the first movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was buzzing at the box office and Michael Jordan, as he often did, turned the sneaker industry on its head. Now a member of the Washington Wizards, Jordan and his brand released the well-received Air Jordan 17 at the not-so-well-received retail price of $200, an unheard of mark at the time. Instead of people talking about the shoe's sleek design and highly touted court performance, it was simply known as the "$200 shoe." However, there were extras involved that the brand felt justified the hefty tag.
The most notable of those extras was the shoe's metal briefcase packaging, a nod to Jordan the businessman and the shoe's jazz-inspired theme. As the years have passed, the Jordan 17's original price point has become less of a focus while many reminisce about one of the greatest retail packaging sets of all-time, something we don't get nearly enough of with sneaker releases today. While the recent-ish Jordan 17 retros did not release with the coveted case, a new introduction to the brand's lifestyle lineup is expected to arrive in similar fashion.
Introducing the Jordan AJNT 23, a performance-inspired lifestyle silhouette said to be linked to the great Tinker Hatfield. The shoe features a build of varying materials, including what appears to be a ripstop base, no-sew panels, glossy trim and gold-plated hardware. Things get really interesting with the laces, an Adapt-like pull system locked in by a swooping strap. Accompanying the premium look is premium packaging, the alluded to foam-lined metal case.
As of now, Jordan Brand has not officially announced the AJNT 23 or a release date, but we'll keep you posted with new details as they're revealed.
UPDATE (08/07): Nike has confirmed the Hatfield-designed Jordan AJNT 23 is releasing on Aug. 19 via SNKRS and at select retailers for $200.
Jordan AJNT 23 "Black"
Release Date: 08/19/2020
Color: Black/White/Metallic Gold
Style #: CI5441-008