Back in October 2021, reliable sneaker leakers delivered a first look at the Air Jordan 1 “Rebellionaire,” a colorway that nods to the infamous “ban” the NBA placed on a particular swoosh-branded shoe that Michael Jordan wore in 1984. Although initial reception of the style wasn’t the most positive, it’s turned around, with old and new collectors alike praising NIKE, Inc.’s new spin on a decades-old story.
Ahead of the sneaker’s overseas launch on March 12th, word spread that the pair were not arriving via Nike SNKRS. Additionally, the “Rebellionaire” drop was reported to be a lot more limited than some of the more popular Jordans of the last three years, likely fueling some of the attention that the pair now boasts.
Replete in “Black” and “Particle Grey” à la “Shadow” offering of the design’s inaugural run, the retro’s most defining details arrive in the form of all-over text from the tip of the toe to spine and two “hand-drawn” cross-out marks on the heel. Each aforementioned component is a directed callback to the “banned” legacy that Jordan Brand has referenced via the Nike Air Ship and Jordan 1 over the last five decades. The text is directly borrowed from the 32-second commercial Nike ran to promote its first signature sneaker design for the young MJ: “Fortunately, the NBA can’t stop you from wearing them.” As history tells it, #23 became a billionaire by being a rebel.