It is a description on how mind can overcome matter, on the naysayers versus doers, on innovations disturbing traditions, and how Michael Jordan took on the impossible. But “Dare To Fly” is also a declaration of sort for Jordan Brand, a rally cry in challenging the status quo and the controversy its Air Jordan XX8 will bring.
Like the opening of the Pandora’s Box and the close contact in the movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jordan Brand unraveled the mirrored cube centerpiece to reveal the new Air Jordan XX8 (28) last night at its “Dare To Fly” event. With movie director Spike Lee at the helm again, lead designers Tinker Hatfield and Josh Heard gave the audience a glimpse on how the project started. The process really started with the word “stealth” and its general definition. Because of stealth’s vital application in the military, Hatfield looked to another recent design of his, the Nike SFB Boot he did for the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The outcome became the framework of AJXX8. Partly inspired by a scene from the movie “True Lies”, where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s secret agent character unveiled a tuxedo underneath his wetsuit (Spike Lee quickly added that the scene was a copy from an early James Bond 007 film), the Jordan Brand design team created some dexterity to the silhouette – zipped for high, unzipped for a mid-cut.
Controversial is part Jordan Brand’s design DNA. It all started with the very first Air Jordan 1 to the current Air Jordan 2013. So even before Jordan Brand embarked on this journey two years ago, the division knew people will either love or hate the Air Jordan XX8. Emotions aside, the 28 is the most technically advance Air Jordan to date. With an 8-inch cuff when zipped, it is by far the “highest”. Its also the lightest, the most flexible, and well tested. In fact, Jordan Brand flew members of Team Jordan to its Bo Jackson Sports Center on Nike campus for multiple training sessions. And as Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, the newest Team Jordan member, attested to at yesterday’s event, there is nothing like the Air Jordan XX8 out there.
A total of three, including 2 mysterious colorways in addition to the one appeared yesterday, will be available at its initial launch during the NBA All-Star weekend February 2013. However, you can catch a glimpse of it on the court tonight as Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder go up against Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Photography by: Poe/Freshness