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Editorial | Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Royal Reimagined"


The Air Jordan 1 is more than just a sneaker; it is a symbol of excellence, innovation, and style. Its impact on sneaker culture and its enduring popularity are a testament to its timeless design and the legacy of Michael Jordan.



Launching soon is the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Royal Reimagined", a new twist on a beloved classic. It marks the first time The Swoosh has changed up the materials on this masterwork of an AJ1.

Although MJ never laced up the AJ1 Royal on an NBA court, the Royal color-blocking definitely has some interesting stories surrounding it. For starters, they were one of the first Air Jordans anyone saw Michael Jordan wearing, period. This photo in question (below) - MJ wears Royals with that iconic straight out of the future matching sleeveless Flight Suit. This photo, standing on a runway for photographer Chuck Kuhn would become one of the earliest Air Jordan posters you could get your hands on.

According to a Nike employee from the time: the private jet in the background of Kuhn's "Flight Guy" shot wasn’t meant to be there. It was just supposed to be Jordan and the runway lights. But as sunrise drew near and the pilot couldn’t be found to move it, Kuhn just had to just take the shot. Given Jordan’s meteoric rise, and his legendary moniker, it was a fortuitous mistake.

[Sidebar: Chuck Kuhn is that guy. His photography & artistry created some of the most iconic images from the Swoosh. We're talking: Kuhn photographed the original "Jumpman" shot, the 1982 "Original 6" Air Force 1 poster & a whole lot more. His artistry has definitely played it's part in creating the Nike mythos we know today].

Work by Chuck Kuhn

Only one photo of Jordan wearing the Royal AJ1 on a "court" exists (below), and it's almost as equally unique. Jordan is playing defense on the deck of a cruise ship, wearing the exact Flight Suit you saw in the poster. There's a chalkboard in the background, on it you can see “Norway Sports Program: A Cruise Staff Fit with Fun Program". Here's his Airness looking like he jumped straight out of the DeLorean in the photo below: compared to everyone around, especially with all of the white basketball sneakers, short shorts & tube socks - MJ looks like some sort of time-traveller from the future.

Interesting fact: MJ has stated that the Royal AJ1 is his favourite colourway in the model. It's part of the reason he's wearing them in the "Flight Guy" photo. This preference is consistent with other models down the line too - Jordan is known for favoring the True Blue 3's & Military Blue 4's.

Perhaps something less physically tangible than the above photography & stories is the "coolness" factor of all the alternate coloured OG Jordans. MJ wasn't alone in thinking the non-court/non Bulls colours were arguably the best. Before social media took over the internet & the sneaker game became what it is today - a lot of the alternate OG Jordan colourways were certainly considered more fashion forward than their counterparts.

Over 30 years on, Michael Jordan's legacy is more than alive. MJ has played a significant role in catapulting the NBA, the sport of Basketball & the sneaker industry to become what it is today. Jordan's achievements & work ethic have made the man synonymous with words like "GOAT", "greatness" & "excellence". All of these factors and more, only add extra weight to the significance of the sneakers. As time continues, history shows how incredible Jordan's career was. Larry Bird has not seen God grace a basketball court since.




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