Approximately half a world away in Hong Kong and some 8 hours before Jordan Brand sent out the official press release on its new collaboration with manga/anime series Slam Dunk, selected members of press and media received the rare opportunity to experience the new Slam Dunk x Jordan Brand exhibition. Assembled more like a museum than an exhibition space, the venue opened to a special hall filled with Air Jordan 6 and Jordan Super.Fly 3, each a customized pair by artists/designers from Asia and the U.S., including Keith Wong, Rex Koo, Nathan Zhou, Yoonhyup, Sayori Wada, Mark Smith and more. An expression of creativity, the participants utilized the opportunity to reflect how Air Jordan and Slam Dunk added their perceptions on the game of basketball.
Not far from the wall of Air Jordans, coordinators from Jordan Brand China presented an introductory video featuring the creator of Slam Dunk, manga-ka Takehiko Inoue . In typical Japanese modesty, Inoue expressed his amazement when Jordan Brand invited him to the 23rd floor of Nike’s headquarter building in Tokyo, Japan. Somewhat speechless at first when the design team asked to do a Slam Dunk collaboration, Inoue quickly agreed to the project. That day was November 26th, 2013. In subsequent meetings, Inoue presented the design team with new illustrations of Slam Dunk and never seen before sketches of Hanamichi Sakuragi, the high school delinquent that would become the protagonist of the manga. And when Jordan Brand asked which Air Jordan model Inoue would like to immortalized with his artwork, he picked Air Jordan 6, for several obvious reasons. Not only was Air Jordan 6 Sakuragi’s go-to basketball sneakers in the Slam Dunk, it was also the first AJs that Michael Jordan wore when he and the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA Championship. Long been a fan of AJs, Inoue added that 2014 was the 23rd anniversary of the Air Jordan 6 model as well.
After a few hours of product walk-through, photo ops, and Q & A sessions, presenters from Jordan Brand had one more surprise for the gathered guests, a hologram display of new Slam Dunk x Air Jordan 6, Slam Dunk x Jordan Super.Fly 3, superimposed against Inoue’s original sketches and the Jumpman insignia.
The Slam Dunk x Jordan Brand collection, with Slam Dunk x Air Jordan 6, Slam Dunk x Jordan Super.Fly 3, matching accessories and apparel, will all be available across Asia starting this Saturday, October 18th, follow by a global launch two weeks later on November 1st. In the meantime, go to the next page for our in-depth photo recap of the event in Hong Kong last night.