THE NIKE AIR JORDAN ECLIPSE: 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING

When the first Air Jordan came out in 1985, the sneaker game was changed forever. In fact one of the biggest tunes this year is “Jumpman”!!! Since then, Nike has dro ...

November 24, 2015 Mixtape Madness Team

When the first Air Jordan came out in 1985, the sneaker game was changed forever. In fact one of the biggest tunes this year is “Jumpman”!!!

Since then, Nike has dropped more than 30 different versions of the iconic trainer – each one
pushing the boundaries of sportswear comfort and design.

To mark the release of the Air Jordan Eclipse, we take a look at the range’s history, from 1985 to
2015, including some exclusive sketches from the early days of Air Jordan.

1985 – Air Jordan 1

When Nike creatives got together to brainstorm ideas for the original Air Jordan, their aim was
simple: to design a sneaker that would stand out from all of the other silhouettes seen on NBA
players.

At the time, basketball trainers were all-white, so their choice was a no-brainer. They pimped out
the shoe with bold black and red colour ways. “It was a colour exercise more than anything.” recalls
former Brand Jordan leader, Gentry Humphrey. And it worked.

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The $1000 fine

To say the shoes caused a buzz would be an understatement. After Michael Jordan debuted the
sneakers on-court, the Bulls were slapped with a $1000 fine because of their bold colourway. Air
Jordan sneakers were effectively banned from professional basketball games.
Soon after, Nike launched a TV ad mocking the NBA’s ruling. The title of ‘most controversial shoe in
basketball’ helped the Air Jordan I shift over 50,000 pairs in its first run. Not bad for a newcomer.
Despite being a huge hit with sneakerheads, Michael Jordan didn’t like the shoes initially. “When I
first saw it, I said “I’m not wearing it. I’ll look like a clown.” But, when the most successful basketball
player of all time realised that the “ugly” shoes were getting people’s attention, it changed his whole
perspective.

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It wasn’t long before the Air Jordan II came out, and then the third iteration in 1988.

1988 – Air Jordan III

The Air Jordan III is arguably the most iconic basketball shoe ever made. As with many Nike classics,
renowned designer and former pole-vaulter, Tinker Hatfield, is the one who can take most of the
credit.

The story goes that Hatfield had “no time to develop the [Air Jordan III]” so he borrowed many of
the stylistic features from the Air Revolution that he was working on at the same time.

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The Jumpman logo

The Air Jordan III was the first in the series to feature the iconic Jumpman logo, which took centrestage
on the tongue. Hatfield moved the Nike swoosh to the back of the silhouette and added
revolutionary lace locks – a design feature that would make its debut on this sneaker.

2015 – The Nike Eclipse

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The Nike Eclipse is the latest in the Air Jordan range, and almost 30 years after the Nike prototype
was first released, it’s a sneaker that still turns heads. These new kicks eclipse all others with their
lightweight but visually stunning design. The low-top feature allows for easy ankle motion, while the
deconstructed textile gives next level breathability.

– Jumpman logo moved to the heel
– Neoprene tongue moulds around your foot for improved comfort
– Deconstructed textile gives lightweight breathability
– Midsole inner cushioning is flexible enough to double up as the outsole
– Low-top design gives full range of ankle motion

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Want to get your hands on these sick sneaks? Check out the Footasylum selection of Nike Eclipse, or
head over to our Air Jordan page for the full range of Jumpman silhouettes.

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