Why 2015 Was the Year of Air Jordan

Credit: Nike

On a rainy October night before the opening of 32 South State Street, a store and a shrine dedicated to all things Michael Jordan, there was a line around the block filled with people eager to get a first look at the place once the doors opened. It shouldn't surprise anybody that a store dedicated to Jordan would get such a response in Chicago, but it wasn't just people from the Windy City waiting in line. Some came from as far as Buffalo and Austin to get their hands on limited edition Air Jordans to either wear, or, as a few admitted, to turn around and sell for a huge markup. Most of them got what they came for, be it something with the Jumpman logo on it, or at least got an autograph from Bull guard Jimmy Butler or Bears receiver Alshon Jeffrey, the new generation of Chicago all-stars wearing the famous Jordan logo on their feet. At the very least, whether they realized it or not, they were taking part in a year-long celebration of the famous sneaker's 30th anniversary, and the year that Air Jordan, maybe even more than its parent brand Nike, proved once again that no other sneaker brand really comes close. 

The Chicago store, a site to behold with its collection of sneakers, rare Jordan memorabilia, and an upstairs court, is already basically a landmark in the city where Jordan won six NBA titles. You'd think that alone would make for a perfect 30th birthday present for the brand, but there was so much more that made this the biggest year for Air Jordan yet. 


His Airness goes home
The NBA All-Star weekend in New York City was a huge success, but Jordan Brand may have upstaged the whole thing with the ridiculous pop-up shop in Brooklyn that was about as tough to get into as sneaking into the Oscars might be. 

Drizzy gets a collection
Drake had his Jordan year in 2015, not only dropping a reference to His Airness in the Meek Mill diss track "Back to Back," but also getting his own Air Jordan collection. 

Jordan and the Biebs
For the time being, Justin Bieber is one of the only names as well-known across the world as Michael Jordan. But for some reason, paying $50,000 for a pair of his Air Jordan Flight 45s just doesn't sound like a wise investment. 

Rare Air
Curious to know what the rarest collection of Jordans in the world looks like? Here you go

Collaborating
It was up and then it was gone. The Jordan collaboration with Supreme was the sort of team that sneakerheads and streetwear aficionados stay up dreaming about. Too bad they probably sold out of everything in under an hour.  

Jumpman, Jumpman
Then Drake had to pay tribute to No. 23. He did it by recording this track with Future for What a Time to Be Alive

Get M.J.'s house when you buy every pair of his sneakers
Or is it the other way around? Either way, $15 million will get you Michael Jordan's suburban Chicago mansion and every pair of Jordans. Not really a bad deal. 

James Harden signs with Adidas...but keeps wearing Jordans 
The Houston Rockets star and owner of the best beard in sports signed a fat contract with one of Nike's biggest competitors, but had to be publicly reminded by the company that gave him $200 million that he couldn't rock Jordans anymore. That's a bit awkward. 

Jordan goes to Public School
It was announced this December that Air Jordan was teaming up with the designers Public School, showing that the brand can easily mingle with high fashion the way it does streetwear.