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Jordan Brand and Union Los Angeles are set to launch their Air Jordan 1 collaboration on Saturday, November 17th at select Jordan Brand. The White, Black, Varsity Red, Grey colorway will be available on Nike SNKRS in EMEA, Greater China and North America. The White, Storm Blue, Black and Varsity Red version will be available exclusively at Union.

Before the launch, Jordan Brand gives us a Look at the OG products the inspired the Union x Air Jordan 1 capsule.

Chris Gibbs, owner of Union Los Angeles, combined his love of weathered, vintage finds with a general muse — someone who’s been wearing Air Jordan 1s for a long time and goes out of his or her way to repair them.

Though Gibbs’ favorite Air Jordan is the Air Jordan 3, he and the Jordan NRG design team intentionally chose the Air Jordan 1 for its emotional impact. “This design is meant to embody the feeling you get from the AJ1,” says Gibbs. “It’s one of the all-time classic silhouettes that’s going to continually span generations.” The Air Jordan 1 Retro High NRG “Union” combines the top of the 1985 “White / Natural Grey” AJ1 with the bottom of the “White / Black — Red” AJI, also known as the “Black Toe.”

Gibbs and Jordan NRG design re-studied the look and feel of the original 1985 AJ1 and figured out multiple methods for creating a carefully distressed 2018 version. This includes thicker leather, a nubuck Swoosh, tongue and ankle stitching, a yellowed midsole, exposed foam on the tongue and curling edges. It took nine attempts to achieve the fuzzy ankle and heel on the AJ1 “Union,” in order to match the 1985 AJ1.

The enlarged Wings logo references a special makeup model that MJ played in for a few games during his rookie season — what would later be called the AJ1.5. It had the upper of an AJ1 and the outsole of the forthcoming AJ2. The “imperfect” Wings logo placement and sizing were applied to the AJ1 “Union,” including the extension of the logo onto the stitching.

Union Air Jordan 1 Wings Design

The insole graphic and tissue paper designs were taken from an instructive sketch made by Jordan designer, Paul Savovici, during a meeting between the two teams. On the apparel side, Gibbs studied the draping and washes of vintage pieces to replicate their look, fit and feel.

Union Air Jordan 1 Tissue Paper

Below are pieces from the Department of Nike Archives that directly inspired the Air Jordan x Union Los Angeles capsule.

LEFT: 2018 AJI RETRO HIGH NRG “UNION”; RIGHT: 1985 AJI WHITE / NATURAL GREY

Union Air Jordan 1 1985 OG

LEFT: 2018 AJI RETRO HIGH NRG “UNION”; RIGHT: 1985 AJI WHITE / BLACK — RED

Union x Air Jordan 1 OG

LEFT: 2018 AJI RETRO HIGH NRG “UNION”; RIGHT: 1985 AJI WHITE / NATURAL GREY

Union x Air Jordan 1

LEFT: 1985 AJI BLACK / RED; RIGHT: 2018 AJI RETRO HIGH NRG “UNION”

Union x Air Jordan 1 OG 1985

LEFT: BLACK UNION VAULT NRG FLIGHT TEE LS; RIGHT: OG WHITE NIKE FLIGHT TEE

Union Air Jordan 1 Shirt

LEFT: ORIGINAL NIKE FLIGHT SHORT; RIGHT: UNION NRG VAULT AJ FLIGHT SHORT

Union Air Jordan Flight Shorts

LEFT: OG AIR JORDAN WINGS NIKE TEE; RIGHT: UNION NRG VAULT AJ FLIGHT TEE NIKE X WINGS

Union Air Jrodan Flight Tee

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