THE 23 EFFECT
It’s no secret that Michael Jordan’s impact on the basketball world has been absolutely immense. He’s going to go down as arguably the greatest player to ever play the game of basketball. 6 NBA Championships, 6 Finals MVP Awards, 5 Regular Season MVP Awards, 14 All-Star Game Selections….the list goes on and on. His ‘win by any means’ mentality, highlighted recently in ‘The Last Dance’ documentary, made him an icon for success and this success has not only been achieved in the sporting world but also outside of it in a crossover that is rare and unique.
Above is a picture of MJ after winning his 4th title in six years. A lot of people look at this photo and the first thing they see isn’t even MJ himself, but his shoes, the Bred 11s.
MJ signed with Nike very early on in his basketball career, in a very iconic and unique deal that showed how much Nike really believed in his greatness. With this deal, birthed the Jordan Brand which since its start in 1984, has become not only a go-to brand for basketball players to purchase a pair of the latest Jordans for basketball functionality, but also (and in some cases more importantly) because they are fashionable, look good and have become a collectors item for anyone (not just basketball players) who’s into fashion and sneakers.
Since the brands first release (The Air Jordan Is) in 1985, Jordans have consistently been growing in popularity. Their simple yet sleek and varying colourways allow for versatility with pretty much any and every wardrobe. Combine that with the fact that in their earlier days they were the shoes of the greatest basketball player on the planet, a person that everyone at that time wanted to be like, athletes and regular people alike, the shoes have been able to crossover into the fashion world and have a huge ripple effect that we are all experiencing, with new releases of different but not so different versions of each shoe year after year after year.
Some of the most well known celebrities that have also had a big role within not only their industries but also outside of it have been seen wearing Jordans. Whether that be the Bred 11s, The 4s or even the recently released and revamped Air Jordan Is, the shoes are everywhere.
In a sense, without even realising it, MJ created a space. A space that exists because of the crossover between basketball and fashion. A space where for a lot of reasons, the cultures harmoniously collide and allow brands like Jordan to thrive in unimaginable, unthinkable ways.
This space is filled with a lot of youth and ambition and has created a culture of high achievers and creative geniuses with an eagerness to express themselves in whatever medium they feel suits them best and use that as their tool on their roads to success. MJ represented that on the court and now with his shoes, he has been able to further extend that aspect of his character with an endless amount of collaborations and silhouettes. This may be the reason why the crossover is so harmonious. It may be the reason why it’s able to reach so many people. It may be the reason why Jordans are as highly-regarded as they are. It’s not just the shoe nor the man behind the shoe alone. It’s what they BOTH represent together. Jordans represent something that has spanned through decades and decades and the effect of them is that it continues to motivate and inspire millions of people and no doubt, it will continue to do so for many years to come.