A short while back, an Air Jordan passport showed up at the Freshness office asking us to save the date and get “ready to takeoff” for the official launch of the Air Jordan 2012. Early yesterday morning, Jordan Brand sent a SMS message that a driver will be picking us up for a ride to a secret location. After a 45-minute ride, we along with a grouping of select media finally arrived at a very appropriate location for this launch, a hangar in New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport. Once inside, we were “checked in” and soon after, seated in airport like seats. After showing an Air Jordan inspirational reel, designer Tom Luedecke along with his “co-designer” (and Vice President, Special Projects and Creative Design at Nike) Tinker Hatfield were brought out to officially introduce and present the 27th shoe in the Air Jordan franchise.
While Tom Luedecke once again took the helm of designing the Air Jordan 2012, it was Tinker who drove the creative direction of the shoe. Mr Hatfield actually took inspiration from a project he worked on called Jumptown, which is an area of Portland, Oregon that was a major hub for Jazz in the 1920’s. From there he looked at the style of dress of the era, including the zoot suits with their big shoulder pads and matching bold wingtip dress shoes. On a rare but unfortunate note Tinker now sketches almost exclusively on his iPad but still he is able to translate his ideas into artwork used to drive the design of the shoes. A number of his early sketches mostly dated back to 2010 and inspired by the 1920’s Jazz style were shown during the presentation.
After the walk through of the shoes, attendants took us to the next area in the hangar where we picked up our “luggage”, an Air Jordan x Cole Haan Weekender bag. In the bag was a pair of the Air Jordan 2012 Deluxe and gear for the wear testing part of the event. After selecting the right “flight” and a quick change, the next area was a full-length basketball court to full try out the new shoes. A pro trainer was on hand to take all the guests through a number of basketball drills favored by some of the top ballers in the NBA. Finally after the drills and a light lunch, we had one last challenge of testing out the Air Jordan 2012 on NIKEiD. And with that the official launch of the 27th franchise model ended and Jordan Brand once again impresses with a unique event to embrace Air Jordan 2012.