The Air Jordan 2 turns 35 years old this year and to mark the occasion they have a host of new drops and colourways coming. Part of the celebration includes partnering with three retailers to deliver collaborative lines with the stores that have helped grow the brand over the years.
In a benchmark move, Nike has chosen South African sneaker store Shelflife for its first Jordan collaboration on the African continent. “Nike chose only three stores worldwide to do a special co-lab with the Jordan 2 shoe aptly named the “International Flight Club” pack. The idea was to shine a spotlight on areas of the world that are passionate about Jordan sneakers but traditionally aren’t represented in mainstream media. Nike selected the Titan Store in the Philippines, Shop Two 18 in Detroit, USA and us in South Africa,” says Nick Herbert Founder and Creative Director, Shelflife.
The concept of the rollout was to focus on the team that makes Shelflife the powerhouse of sneaker retailers that it is in SA, in the same way that Jordan chose to focus on the passionate retailers that prop up its business. The Jordan x Shelflife took two years to develop.
“We pretty much had free range on the colours and materials we wanted to work with. We came up with the concept of focusing on the Shelflife team that makes it happen; to capture the essence of the team who show up each day to make sure the product gets to market,” says Herbert. “Often it is only the CEO or owner of a business that is in the limelight. But each member of our team contributes equally. The Shelflife team are the most passionate, knowledgeable sneakerheads around – they understand it and live it and speak about it all day long. When the shoe was being designed, we worked together, asking for input on design, and each employee’s signature is featured on the shoe’s inner sole. The TEAM ONLY shoe acknowledges the role of each member of our team but also the broader community that makes us who we are – from sales staff to social media management, to the employee, to the designer to the client. We represent a collective who understand the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Rooted in Shelflife’s graffiti and street art origins, the design has a white and light-bone upper with orange accents on the heel. On the insole, a graphic of scrawled signatures and autographs reflect the retailer’s ubuntu team spirit: “I am because we are.”
To celebrate the release Nike and Shelflife are hosting two launch events. The events take place on Thursday the 20th October at 1 Fox in JHB and the Shelflife store in CPT respectively. The Jordan x Shelflife range will be available at Shelflife in store on 20 October in Cape Town and Johannesburg and online from the 21 October. In addition to the sneakers, retailing at R3,899, the Jordan x Shelflife range includes a TEAM ONLY range of clothing. The range will be distributed globally through Jordan’s top tier neighborhood boutique partners and the Nike SNKRS app globally in October 2022.