Back in 1984, Michael Jordan was banned from wearing his debut sneaker ‘Air Jordan 1’ because his shoes didn’t match identically with his uniform nor the shoes of his teammates. After relentless fine paying by Nike and the high demand for his iconic red/black silhouette, MJ was approved to wear the shoes on the court. This shift in basketball culture opened up new shoe possibilities. A rule of this magnitude was revolutionary at the time, despite it sounding so simple today. Individuality and self-expression in the form of fashion opened a door that hasn’t closed since.
Self-expression is an understatement after first watching Will Smith displayed his style on the intro of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”. Opening credits in the pilot showed Will wearing a pair of Air Jordan 5’s, which validated how ‘fresh’ he really was. Throughout the first season, Smith would switch up the colorways and shoelaces (or lack thereof). It was the episode ‘Courting Disaster’ when Will wore the ‘Grape’ Air Jordan 5’s with the matching warm-up suit.
Behind the Design
The upper is primarily smooth suede paneling throughout the entire shoe. Triple stitching around the shoe follows suit by it being grape as well. Under the upper is a black midsole with new emerald triangular shapes near the outsole EVA. Inside of the midsole lies the notorious ‘Air Unit’ that makes every step feel like you’re walking on a cloud. Just like the midsole, the collar, collar lining, eyelet, eyestays, and shoelaces are black. The outsole has a transparent rubber that gives off a pristine finish. Underneath the grape ice, suede overlays is a net-shaped clear quarter with breathable vents. ‘Jumpman’ logos were stitched to perfection on the mustache and tongue logo, as the ‘Air Jordan’ is stitched inside of the tongue to prove its authenticity.