Concept Lab // Air Jordan 1 “Air Ship”

Concept Lab // Air Jordan 1 “Air Ship”

The OG Banned meets the OG Jordan.

Conceptualized in 1984 by designer Peter Moore, the Air Jordan 1 hit the hardwood the following year and gained instant notoriety. All eyes were on MJ as he took to the court in his very own black and red sneaker. But there is a hell of a lot of confusion surrounding the Air Jordan 1 Bred and it’s banned status. We’re pretty sure that the NBA fined Mike for wearing it, but it wasn’t the sneaker that caused the initial ruckus with the League heads.

The Bred Jordan 1 served as a follow up to the NBA-sanctioned Nike Air Ship, a sneaker that Mike first wore in a 1984 practice match at Madison Square Garden. The NBA notified Nike and the Bulls that the black and red sneaker from the October 18th game broke the “uniformity of uniform rule.” He would immediately have to stop wearing the colorway on court.

So even though the “Black/Red” AKA “Bred” Air Jordan 1 wasn’t the first banned sneaker, it’s since taken on the title due to its fine-attracting resemblance to the mysterious Air Ship — a sneaker that is still yet to retro, almost 35 years on (seen below)

Michael Jordan circa 1984/85 in the NBA-banned Nike Air Ship, complete with “Air Jordan” branding on the heels.


A side by side comparison of the Nike Air Ship (reconstructed custom) and the Air Jordan 1 “Bred” via @mjo23dan

Over the years, the sneaker has gained a holy grail status. It’s become a myth of sorts, a sneaker that’s only spoken about in folklore like it’s some historical tall tale; a rare treasure that may or may not have ever existed. And we may not live to see the day the sneaker gets a retrospective release — but hey, October 2019 marks 35 years since Mike’s Air Ship was given the ban hammer — so we’re holding on to hope that something might actually fall our way this year.

But considering the connection between the two sneakers, why have we not seen the Air Ship make its way into the Air Jordan 1 series? Here we pay tribute to both banned sneakers; the Air Jordan 1 Bred as it’s base, but flipped blocking to resemble the mythical Air Ship. And, like the recent emergence of the “Bred Toe” blocking, this new “Air Ship” layout would also open up the Air Jordan 1 to so many more colorway options in the future.

Wanna see more from the Lab? You can check out all of our Concepts HERE!

Air Jordan 1 “Air Ship”

From the HOUSE OF HEAT Concept Lab

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