“Originally crafted as a high-performance basketball shoe for budding star Michael Jordan, the Air Jordan I inadvertently brought innovation to skateboarding world. Celebrating this unforeseen answer to the needs of skaters, Nike SB and Jordan Brand collaborate to release the Nike SB x Air Jordan I. Multimedia artist Craig Stecyk brings his signature tribal visual identity to the design, taking cues from Northwest Passage, his art installation that prominently features bronze casting and spray paint.
The green-and black-upper features “AJ One SB” tonally scribed in a typeface designed by Stecyk that was originally featured in a leading skateboarding magazine in 1982. The same inscription also shows up on the insole. From the start, the Air Jordan I caused a stir among sneaker fans and basketball executives alike. Specifically when fines were imposed on Jordan for breaking uniform regulations after he wore the black and red editions during a game, the shoe's rebel image was confirmed.
The mid 1980s were a significant time for skating too — Vert was dominating, street was evolving and clothes were loud. Stecyk was on the scene to document it all.
Skating takes its toll on a shoe, and often punishes the wearer. The supportive ankle height and Nike Air cushioning of the Air Jordan I; the very things applied to help Jordan hit terra firma with immunity, were perfect for skateboarders needs. The premium leather was more durable than the baked rubber, canvas and suede of other models, and the Air Jordan I soon became a skate favorite. Fast forward to 2014: the Nike SB x Air Jordan partnership returns with a unique makeup created in collaboration with two icons of the industry who ushered in the shoe's adaptation — Craig Stecyk and Lance Mountain. As a hit skateboard video from 1987 gained popularity, images of Lance Mountain in the Air Jordan I took the world by storm. From that point on, the Air Jordan I became a part of skate history, and the fashion in which Mountain wore his sneakers was nothing short of iconic.”