Out of any sneakers in the original Air Jordan signature line, the Air Jordan 7 has the most eclectic history, each pair with signature moments or achievements. The “Hare” colorway has the Looney Tunes connection going for it. The Black/True Red version brings back memories of Jordan’s 2nd championship run with the Bulls, including the famous “Shrug” after hitting six threes in the first half of Game 1. The “Olympics” iteration has a very up-front association: Jordan’s dominant run with the USA Olympic Men’s Basketball “Dream Team”.
Most eclectic of them all, however, is the “Bordeaux” Air Jordan 7. Yes, the shoe did not see time on MJ’s feet for any meaningful NBA basketball, but it set a pattern that would follow for many of the signature Air Jordan colorways that created a cult following. Prior to the Air Jordan 7, the All-Star Game was Mike’s stage for debuting his new signature models. What started with the “Bordeaux” 7, though, was the use of unique colorways for the occasion. When team jerseys became the defaults for the game, Jordan reverted to debuting Playoffs sneakers, but without the “Bordeaux” paving the way, it’s possible other signature colorways, like the “Aqua” Air Jordan 8 and “Columbia” Air Jordan 11, would not have the same allure that they do.
And if you thought that the Air Jordan 7’s biggest connection to pop culture was through Looney Tunes, think again. Especially with Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, involved. In the Spring 1992 video for “Jam”, Jordan rocked the “Bordeaux” Air Jordan 7 while the two schooled each other – Jordan on the basketball court and Jackson on the dance floor. The record was a major success, but more than anything else, the video showcased two talents who controlled their bodies with incredible precision in completely different realms. Twenty-one years later, director David Kellogg and producer Phil Rose took a look back at the legendary moment in pop culture, admiring at the fact that they were able to capture rare moments of the two MJ’s together, and touching on disguising the entire shoot as a mayonnaise commercial. It’s testimonials like these that speak to the significance of the “Jam” video, and in turn, of the “Bordeaux” 7.
Then, there’s the last piece to the puzzle: the 2011 re-release. Over the years since 1992, Jordan fans attributed a cult classic status to the “Bordeaux” Air Jordan 7, as out of any sneaker in the line, it went one of the longest spans of time without a Retro release: 19 years. Back then, though, people were not getting the same true-to-original product that is the new drop. Complete with a taller tongue, remastered quality, and “Nike Air” branding, this is the real deal, the shoe of today that stands for the pop culture moment that was “Jam” and the legacy of MJ’s future All-Star sneaker debuts.
The Air Jordan 7 Retro “Bordeaux” lands on FinishLine.com at 10 am on Saturday, July 18th at FinishLine.com.