Do you know what shoes Michael Jordan was most into before he signed his Nike deal? Or which Air Jordan sneaker was the first to feature no Swoosh branding? If not then you’ve got a little bit of studying to do, with this Complex list of 23 things you may not know about Air Jordan’s being a good place to start. Click through to get a handful of them and let us know if you think your knowledge is already up to snuff.
When Michael Jordan left the University of North Carolina in 1984, he wanted to sign with adidas, not Nike. He was a self-described “adidas nut,” and told his agent that if the deal the German company offered was even close, he’d sign with them. Apparently it wasn’t. Their loss.
Look Ma, No Swoosh
The Air Jordan II was the first Nike shoe to not feature Swoosh branding anywhere on the sneaker. It was a risky move, but it ushered in an era where design, not a logo, was most important.
Like many other things in the Air Jordan canon, the “Hare Jordan” ad campaign may look like a no-brainer now, but it represented quite the risk — and quite the investment — in 1992. The initial ad alone cost $1 million (not including Jordan’s salary), took six months to make, and required 3,000 separate illustrations drawn by 25 different artists. Ehhhhhh, what’s up, jock?
It is no secret that Tinker Hatfield has drawn inspiration from strange places when designing Jordans, but maybe none as strange as a lawn mower and its protective cover that helped birth the most iconic Jordan to date — the XIs. Patent leather has found its way onto countless sneakers since, but it’s worth remembering that, on the Air Jordan XI, it served a functional purpose besides adding flash.
Be True To Your School
Ever wonder why Air Jordans are released on Saturdays? It’s so kids don’t skip school to get ‘em. Now they just have to miss class on Friday (er, or Wednesday) to line up. Teachers and principals must be thrilled about Twitter RSVPs — except for all the text alerts going off in class.
For the full list of “23 Things You Might Not Know About Air Jordans” check out Complex.