Nike and Michael Jordan’s Jordan Brand sneaker rise, fall, and comeback

“I was skipping school to go to the local sneaker store where I grew up at seven in the morning. At that point it was great — you only had to get there three hours early, waiting for that shoe to release,” he said. “It was about buying them, putting them on your feet, and walking into school and everyone saying ‘How do you have that shoe?’ … I was two hours late, but that’s neither here nor there, don’t tell my teachers.”

line outside Nike store


picture alliance/Contributor/Getty Images


Another great aspect of expensive collaborations is that they increase demand for older styles. “Guess what, if someone can’t afford that $1,000 collaboration, they’re going for the next-best thing,” Cohen said. “So Nike deploys rarity [by introducing a collaboration on limited release], and if someone can’t afford that pair, they still want something close.”

off white

This Jordan I Retro High Off-White “Off White UNC” shoe is currently available at Flight Club for $1,250.
Courtesy of Flight Club


With some reinvention and a new sense of storytelling, Jordan Brand clawed its way back into the game in 2018. Complex likened the comeback to the player himself, who “made his name by playing with a chip on his shoulder and having a laser focus on success.” Jordan Brand has executed this comeback so well that it has worked its way back into monthly lists of the top-selling shoes in America.

michael jordan jordan brand unc-duke


Streeter Lecka/Getty Images


Source: Complex, GQ

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