I was overwhelmed with a mixture of feelings after speeding back to my abode. It was around 8:15am, and I had just purchased the Jordan 12’s from an oft overlooked Footlocker on Route 22 in Northern New Jersey. As I encountered pebbles, foothills, smooth asphalt, and a warm morning sun in pursuit of the entrance of Footlocker, I found myself happily anticipating the purchase of another classic rendition of the beloved 12’s in Black/University Blue with nubuck upper. I found no line (Perhaps the recession is to blame) and a very calm manager who continued to advertise remaining pairs of the Jordan 5 Pack…an entire week later. The transaction went smoothly and yawning, I wondered: Where is the Jordan Brand going with its heralded sneaker line?
Of late it seems as though JB has focused on numerous hybrid mash ups of various Jordan models from the past, and the Air Force 1. Is this a sign of poor planning? Lack of creativity? Laziness? Sign of panic? Or is it a great idea? Personally, I have been disappointed in the releases and consistently find myself screwing my face up in disdain at every adolescent biking around in the wee hours of the morning, donning the signature footwear. What is the allure of such an unusual and incestuous product? Is it the classic components that happen to be thrown together haphazardly… or is it the lack of better options decorated with the venerated Jumpman insignia? For quite some time, I’ve tossed around various justifications and motivations for the sneakers, and been disappointed in all my conclusions.
It is apparent there seems to be an undying market of Jordan aficionados. I do not have any quantitative data relating how many consumers of the hybrids are long time supporters, who have experienced the joy of an uncreased Jordan 2, versus younger individuals buying up the creations solely because they are Jordan Brand and perhaps aren’t well versed enough to have any reservations about the purity of the shoes. Either way, I’m convinced the Jordan Brand has a difficult road ahead. JB has a couple options: 1.) JB could enhance their levels of creativity in designing future sneakers, with the charge of upholding a highly successful and iconic brand 2.) Continue to release past Jordan editions of lore (perhaps with a more classic focus… versus concoctions such as the, ” A Tribe Called Quest x Air Jordan 1 Hi Strap) 3.) Perhaps throw caution to the wind and continue to dilute the Jordan Brand with nutty sneakers. My greatest fear at this point… is not that JB will become mired in “redundancy” (we all know some things will NEVER go out of style…), but they will lose their relevance as consumers grow tired of the unsatisfactory products they are force-fed.