Jordan Brand's latest ladies-only roll out had us shook, and it had very little to do with aesthetics.
The future is female and this season is HERS.
Words: Evelynn Escobar-Thomas // @evemeetswest
Just under two weeks ago, Jordan Brand rang in the “Season of Her,” a historic campaign exclusively for women, by women releasing 10 different pastel colorways of the Jordan 1s. And it doesn’t stop there. They’ve got a whole slew of releases to carry us through the season from more Air Jordan 1s to Valentine’s Day Jordan VIIIs to Vachetta Tan Jordan XIIs, I am so here for it all. Although the drop hits the nail on the head, the overwhelming feeling for us and for many of the women in the CNK SneakHer community is: it’s about time!
As we all know, the Jordan Brand has long represented an identity of male athleticism and strength avec Michael Jordan. Now, don’t get me wrong, they’ve had women specific releases along the way (i.e. Jordan Heiress, Vashtie’s OG AJ 2 , Aleali May’s Jordan 1 drop to name a few) but never have they devoted an entire line to us females that was more than an obvious gender specific iteration of a silhouette .
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What does that mean? This Jordan Woman Spring Collection includes colorways that are more than the obvious pink that we usually get stuck with, without compromise of quality and a whole lot of female innovation. From the hashtag (hello, #SeasonofHer), to the women involved behind the scenes like Aleali May, to the women featured in marketing materials like the beloved SZA every little detail is on point. Additionally, they’ve tapped 10 female designers to rework the Air Jordan 1s in the “The 1 Reimagined” that is set to release February 7th with sizing up to a women’s US 12.
All of this is so groundbreaking. For women like Boston-based business owner Mo D. who grew up playing basketball and had limited options to choose from, to now having an abundance of lifestyle options the market has changed in a major way for a lot of us, in just one generation. “I played a lot of ball growing up so whether I was on or off the court, most likely I was in a pair of ball kicks. Some of my favorites were the Penny’s, the Iverson’s and Grant Hill’s but especially the Jordan’s (for obvious reasons). Gender-wise I had very little options other than what they put out for the boys so that’s why I’m happy to see major sneakers brands like Jordan Brand finally recognizing the need to appeal more to large and constantly growing female consumer base,” said D.
"[Growing up] I had very little options other than what they put out for the boys so that’s why I’m happy to see Jordan Brand finally recognizing the need to appeal more to a large, and constantly growing, female consumer base."
The thing is -- we’ve been here, we’ve been buying, we’ve been a force. Nike heeded notice years before the Jumpman with female specific campaigns dating back to the 70’s geared around female athletes to the recent campaigns such as the Force is Female, Air Society, and Better For It. Yet, here we are in 2017 and we’re just now seeing Jordan Brand with their first blossom. Granted, Jordan is a younger brand that was built around an overwhelmingly male sport. Women like Smart Shiny Objects Founder Melissa Sulewski have been fighting for their voice to be heard for quite some time. “This release is an olive branch to women sneakerheads, who have been asking for acknowledgement for years. [...] This is a demonstration of one of the most iconic basketball brands in the world cosigning women in a world long dominated by men,” says Sulewski.
“This release is an olive branch to women sneakerheads, who have been asking for acknowledgement for years."
You see, although the Season of Her is a huge step in the right direction it’s important to note that we are more than a season. We’re more like an evergreen tree that stays green year round. Simply put, we’re not going anywhere and we’re not going to stop buying anytime soon. While I’m thankful that the Jumpman has recognized us and given us a voice in this heavily male dominated industry, my hope is that this is just the beginning. The beginning of a new commitment from the Jordan Brand to stop ignoring us and give us women our shine. Let us tell our stories and lead our narratives. I promise you there’s money to be made in that.
Just ask Nike.
Eve is a CNK contributor who also has made appearances on Hypebae, FinishLine, HerTake, and is a Lids ambassador. She is originally from the great state of VA but currently resides on the best coast, in Los Angeles. You can contact her directly via Instagram or by visiting her website, EveMeetsWest.com.