30 Years of Air Jordan Custom AJ 1 by Van Monroe


Is it possible to sum up 30 years of a brand into one product? Chances are it would be tough to make that computation or even grow a brand to be relevant for that many years. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Air Jordan line by Nike. We have already seen the beginning of a major “We Are Jordan” campaign by Jordan Brand and their current team of players as the NBA surpassed the season’s halfway point this past weekend for All Star Game in New York, NY. To add to the festivities Jordan Brand commissioned customizer Van Monroe to customize a pair of sneakers in celebration of Air Jordan’s 30 years. The following Air Jordan retro is the result.

Of course the base that made most sense is the original Air Jordan sneaker silhouette, the AJ 1. The retro was painted from black and red to a mixture of visual elements from the past three decades of Michael Jordan’s signature sneaker line. Starting at the toes you see the elephant print made popular by the AJ III. Next upon the lower lace panel is a recreation of the Air Jordan lasered graphics that were a big part of the Air Jordan XX. Now onto the upper of the left shoe is the iconic photo of MJ in the Jumpman logo pose across the Chicago skyline in 1985 with the original Air Jordan logo in white and black.

Moving on to the backs you see the black and white images of MJ’s WINGS poster along with his television commercial side kick Mars Blackmon. Along the medial side of the left sneaker you’ll see MJ’s free throw line Dunk from the 1988 NBA All Star Dunk Contest. While on the right shoe you’ll find hand painted images of Jordan Brand’s current stars: Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, Russsell Westbrook and Chris Paul. Last details from Air Jordan sneaker prints such as AJ VIII print swooshes, tongues painted with a bit of AJ VII flavor and midsoles given the black/cement gray speckle of the AJ IV complete the 30th anniversary tribute.

If you couldn’t tell from the level of detail, this pair is a 1 of 1 piece never to be remade. Chalk it up as another great pair of detailed 1 of 1 customs by Mr. Van Monroe that you can only appreciate in photos. More work from Van Monroe can be seen on his site: www.VanMonroe.com and be sure to follow him on Instagram: @VanMonroe

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