Fashion Print

How It’s Made: The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior Sneaker

Air Dior
Images courtesy of Christian Dior

What happens when a titan of fashion collides with a giant of sports? Pure magic.

Luxury brands openly and loudly embracing the streetwear movement is nothing new. Nor is it a brief or casual involvement; a mere dalliance.

Take, for instance, Hermès, Chanel, and Richard Mille inviting renowned graffiti artist Cyril Kongo to embellish their high-end wares with lively tag-style prints and patterns, or Louis Vuitton welcoming Off-White founder Virgil Abloh as its men’s artistic director. Then there’s 1017 ALYX 9SM’s Matthew Williams taking the helm as creative director for Givenchy, and even BMW teaming with Kith to release a collection of graphic knitwear, tracksuits and homeware-inspired by the 1989 E30 M3 model.

But as haute couture and urban fashion become more indistinguishable from one another by the minute, the expectations for these artistic intersections continue to be raised. Which luxury brand will be next to figure out how to speak streetwear their own distinct way? Is there anywhere that street-inspired fashion can’t conceivably pop up across the luxury spectrum? 

Get too caught up in asking questions like these, and you might convince yourself that the union between Dior and Jordan Brand somehow isn’t hoity-toity enough for your standards.

After all, this is the same Dior controlled and chaired by French businessman Bernard Arnault, who also heads LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group. And this is the same Jordan Brand that purveys everyday athletic, casual and stylish clothing produced by Nike.

Their cross-cultural collaboration is the latest where haute couture meets high-end sportswear, or streetwear—whatever you prefer to call it. (Not that they’re entirely interchangeable.) It’s a collaboration that makes a compelling case for being the most essential of its kind yet.

Why? Because the Air Jordan 1 started sneaker culture. Point blank. And with its debut coinciding with the 35th anniversary of the ever-iconic AJ 1, the Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior ticks all the boxes you’d anticipate from such an avant-garde alliance.

A pairing that brings together exceptional tailoring expertise of a long-established House with the visionary design and versatile style of a new-generation label? Check. (Dior and Jordan Brand are both emblematic of absolute excellence in their fields.) A collision of authenticity with luxury and craft at a level seldom approached before? Check. (Some materials, for example, are being featured for the very first time. Every detail has been truly obsessed over.) A dazzling global premiere? Check. (The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior was unveiled on the runway for the Dior Fall 2020 men’s show in Miami.)

Of course, savoir-faire is evident throughout the sneaker’s production process, with each step managed by skilled artisans who have received specialized training.

Constructed in Italy to supreme luxury standards and crafted from the high-level Italian calf leather that characterizes Dior leather goods, the two iconic brands have made the Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior just as Dior would build a bag—right down to its special stitching, itself meant to echo the unique expertise used on the House’s signature Saddle bag.

As impressively punctuated with the letters Dior in an infinite motif, the instantly recognizable Dior ‘Oblique’ canvas used on this new creation fills out the Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior’s Nike Swoosh with a half-sized version of itself, simultaneously embodying the exceptional prowess and proficiency of two leading brands. It is further embossed into the insoles.

Also surfacing on a delicate white tone-on-tone jacquard on the shoe’s tongue, this diagonal Dior ‘Oblique’ pattern has been fashioned in the very same workshop—the Flanders weaving atelier—that first produced the motif more than 50 years ago. Created in 1967 by Marc Bohan, it is one of the House’s key codes, and it remains synonymous with history and know-how, embodying the excellence of savoir-faire.

The artistic director of Dior men’s collections, the enigmatic Kim Jones, has long been a proponent mixing together different worlds and different ideas. As far as he’s concerned, to bring Dior and Jordan Brand together in this special collaboration is to propose something exciting and truly new.

He might be onto something here. Both Jordan Brand and Dior represent excellence in craftsmanship and design. Both share a common design ethos around obsession to detail and bold silhouettes. 

Simply put, the Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior leverages each brand’s footprint of luxury innovation—and its design pays tribute to the rich iconography and heritage of both brands.

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