Faking the Funk: The $400 Jordan Shine

Faking the Funk: The $400 Jordan Shine

It’s no secret, Jordan Brand sold out a long time ago. There’s a reason that “His Airness” is still one of the highest paid athletes in the world (raking in $90 Million in 2013 according to Forbes) even though it’s been over a decade since he’s suited up for an NBA contest. Production on his signature player models creep up to nearly half a million in quantity with larger releases, which equals big bucks for the Jumpman conglomerate, which is about to get bigger.

The inaugural Jordan Shine is set to hit select retailers at a future date for a whopping $400, accredited to premium leathers. We constantly hear sneakerheads (at least the more seasoned ones) incessantly bitching about the inferior quality of today’s Jordan releases. Let’s save the “Back in my day shit was SO premium B!” conversations for later.

The price tag on these sneakers is wrong for many reasons. At its core, the “Shine” is not an athletic shoe. With the “fashion forward” silhouette and design it becomes clear that Jordan is targeting a new type of consumer, the high-end label enthusiast. The brand has undoubtedly conquered the mainstream athletic market with ease in years past, but after decades of shaping the industry’s direction Jordan is finally going with the trend rather than initiating it.

Jordan is attempting to enter the conversation with the footwear elites like the Balenciaga’s, Givenchy’s and Margiela’s of the world. Not long ago it seemed that these luxurious brands were tapping Jordan’s designs for their own benefit, and it looks like the roles have finally reversed. By making the sneaker more red carpet ready, it takes away from the shock factor of even choosing to wear sneakers with a tux. (See Jason Sudekis for shock factor done right.) In essence, this is more blending in than standing out.

Photo of actor Jason Sudekis wearing the Jordan XI "Bred" on the red carpet.

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The shoe takes on the popular simplistic aesthetic that everyone has been aiming towards as of late, which in turn strips the Jordan identity. In regard to what the materials consist of, reports are stating that these woven J’s are comprised of high-end leathers. But my question is, where is the leather being sourced from? If we ain’t talking fine Italian leathers I don’t even wanna hear about it bruh. Black leather, red leather, French leather, lux leather, religious leather; I’m not buying it.

On the bright side, setting such a high retail price would most likely eliminate the outstanding violence that has been associated with Jumpman releases. It also lessens the re-sell value because let’s face it, these ain’t no Yeezys. I find it hard to believe the younger generation of footwear addicts will miss a(nother) day of class to camp out at Barney’s. Not to mention Barney’s is highly underprepared for a release of this caliber.

The high-fashion junkie bros are lifting their leather kilts over their heads in excitement for this news, but you can’t fool the streets. They might smell like leather, but Jordan is faking the funk on these. The Jumpman is ditching the concrete and hitting the runway. But let’s be serious here: Can you really differentiate one pair of red lux leather high-tops in a sea of fancier red lux leather high-tops?

Photo of the Jordan Shine, which is set to hit retailers at a whopping $400.

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