Nostalgically looking back to my junior year of undergrad, I remember taking the department’s required Comm 310: Communication Research Methods. Essentially, my partner and I picked a research topic and created a full APA research paper. Eventually, we settled on brands with the most clout, or were the most influential. And atop our list was Air Jordan. For our research, we focused solely on the brands footwear compared to its competitors.
Unlike most sneaker brands, Air Jordan is genuinely universal, as any gender, age or race has worn the sneaker. For example, I could go out for lunch with my grandfather and father, and all three of us could potentially be sporting Air Jordans. Interestingly enough, all three of us could be sporting the same exact Air Jordan sneaker as well, as the brand is known for its limited releases, and reincarnation of past silhouettes.
For some reason, perhaps the initial roll out, a certain type of person isn’t attached to the Air Jordan sneaker. Using New Balance as an example, when you see the notorious white New Balance 608v4 you more than likely associate the sneaker with an old, more than likely Caucasian, man.
Perhaps, there’s a difference in cultures, as when you see the mz50 1v1 New Balance sneakers you more than likely associate it with African American youth, especially in the greater Philadelphia area. But, the Air Jordan has historically permeated every culture.
vBut, the love for the Air Jordan has just started, as I’m not the only one with an appreciation for the sneaker. I sport three pairs of Air Jordans, but Aflamu Johnson edged me out with an infinite love of the brand.
“Jordans are, and will always be the top crème de la crème of sneakers,” Aflamu Johnson said to Uproxx. “You can wear Jordans to a wedding.”
According to Uproxx, Johnson’s collection of Air Jordans is worth approximately 70 thousand dollars. Reexamining an earlier point, Air Jordan’s limited releases has provided consumers the opportunity to flip, or buy multiple quantities of the sneaker, and resell them online for as much as triple the price. But, Johnson’s content holding on to his sneakers for now. Essentially, purchasing sneakers is seen as an investment within the industry.
Similar to purchasing old cars and waiting until they become antique, sneaker hoarders sit on their sneakers until the price value has peaked. Johnson said to Uproxx he knew a man who sold his sneaker collection for over 150 grand, and used the cash for a down payment on an apartment. Well, beside the fact he made a down payment on an apartment, and not a house the example shows you how lucrative sneaker hoarding could be, especially as a side job.
(Did someone say early retirement?)
Besides early retirement, think about the financial security the money tied up in sneakers Johnson has. If money gets tight, simply sell a pair or two of Air Jordans.
“Just in case something happens,” Johnson said. “I know that I have money in the closet.”
But, it’s more than just purchasing, and reselling the sneakers. Air Jordan is timeless.
“Every NBA player, every rapper, and hip hop, R&B guy, they have a Jordan collection,” Johnson said. “White or black. Even baseball guys will have a Jordan collection. Boxers will wear Jordan trunks. College football teams will wear Jordan undershirts. And I mean the jump man, the Jumpman logo will be on the shirts forever.”
So there you have it! We could go on forever about the impact and appeal of Air Jordan. Ultimately, it exists as a status symbol, not limited to African American culture. No matter what price point you obtained your Air Jordan, you all were revered for wearing one of the most iconic sneakers in global history.