New Air Jordans, New Design Approach?

Nike is dropping the ‘golden’ pair of Jordans on Jan 25. Golden, if you will, as they are the Air Jordan XX3 – which means they are the 23rd version of the Air Jordan – and Jordan wore #23 for much of his career.

More interesting than it being the golden pair is the design approach. Nike says the AJXX3 is the first b-ball shoe as part of its Considered initiative, where all products are designed with reducing waste and utilizing environmentally friendly materials in mind. Apparently, in contrast to most kicks, the AJXX3 uses a minimal amount of environmentally harmful adhesives and instead relies on a new design system of interlocking panels. Sounds cool, however, curious to know how environmentally friendly these shoes really are?

The interlocking panels, light weight elements (in some cases made of recycled materials) and unique details (Jordan finger print inspired sole pattern) added to the productions process. Apparently a lot of people in the factories were pissed as this “wasn’t business as usual,” according to Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s vp of innovation design and special products. Tinker lead the design and was also the guy who came up with the concept for the Nike Air bubble/Air Max. Below is a video of where he found inspiration for the Air Bubble:

In Jordan brand fashion, the typical build-hysteria model is being employed behind the AJXX3 release. Only 23 Nike sanctioned stores, each with only 23 pairs will have the kicks on Jan 25. $230 will be the ticket. As expected, this initiative will be supported by a campaign appropriately titled “Become Legendary.” Jordan, Melo, Chris Paul and Ray Allen will appear in the spots which are expected to come out mid January.

*Props to Aki and Alyson for their Design for All presentation yesterday.