Brooklyn-born, world-renowned athlete Michael Jordan was famously cut from his high school varsity team. Undeterred, Jordan became a champion at the collegiate, professional and international levels, claiming an abundance of individual accolades along the way and initiating a groundbreaking synergy of sport and style.
Similarly Brooklyn-based, world-renowned artist KAWS started small — first cutting his teeth painting in local New Jersey train yards before building his reputation subverting advertisements in New York City and graduating to mounting full-scale solo shows at prestigious galleries and museums.
The Jordan x KAWS capsule collection celebrates these two iconoclasts. It recognizes that behind every game-changer lies the desire to master one’s craft. And, ultimately, it honors the larger-than-life ingenuity of MJ and Donnelly.
“We look for collaboration partners that meet our standard of greatness,” explains Gemo Wong, Senior Design Director for Special Projects at Jordan Brand. “Street art defies the traditional art canvas and can live anywhere. We look at our footwear design through the same lens, as an artistic expression on the streets. With KAWS, we create new connections and push the boundaries of our design thinking.”
Highlighting the capsule is the Air Jordan IV x KAWS. The first ever collaborative product between Jordan Brand and KAWS, the shoe advances Jordan Brand’s experimental mixing of materials by removing the silhouette’s traditional plastic accents and flooding the upper with premium grey suede. The color is a nod to KAWS’ companion pieces, and is punctuated by a glow-in-the-dark outsole. To finish it off, KAWS’ familiar “XX” reads boldly over the heel tab’s classic “AIR” marking.
The Jordan IV x KAWS is complemented by an apparel collection including a black satin coach’s jacket with contrasting red Jumpman and KAWS “XX” on the right and left chest respectively. A black hoodie and t-shirt, both with tonal reflective print, feature KAWS’ trademark hands and the “XX AIR” graphic. Rounding out the collection is a five-panel cap.
“KAWS wears a five-panel all the time,” notes Wong. “He also has a history in apparel, so we knew it would be authentic to his brand and ours to add a curated apparel collection to this capsule.”
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