Air Jordan VI: a series of firsts
Remember where you were Wednesday, June 12, 1991? If you were alive on that day, chances are you were watching Game 5 of the NBA finals – Michael Jordan’s first championship title. That day MJ cemented his status as the greatest player in the league… and he did it in the Air Jordan VI.
That season Jordan led the league in scoring with 31.5 points per game. He also made first-team on the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams, and of course, he was MVP. When the Bulls rolled into the postseason, MJ got serious and switched to the Black/Infrared colorway of his sixth signature shoe.
As they say, the rest is history. He dominated the playoffs and wrapped the final series against Magic’s Lakers in five games (4-1). This momentous season made the AJ VI one of the most significant shoes in Jordan’s career – and in the history of sneakers.
Rewind to 1990 – the world was in love with the Air Jordan III, IV, and V. Jordans were the most coveted kicks on the planet. Following three groundbreaking designs was no easy task. But if anyone could do it, Tinker could. Not only did he match the brilliance of his last three designs, but he also continued to push the envelope.
The design of the AJ VI silhouette was inspired by MJ’s Porsche 911. The pull tab is a direct reference to the iconic spoiler. On a visceral level, the shoe just looks sleek and fast. Tinker Hatfield had done it again and created one of the most revered Air Jordans of all.
Tinker may be responsible for the design, but the product marketing genius was all Nike. Starting in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Beaverton giant changed the sneaker game in terms of marketing. MJ was well on his way to becoming the GOAT and his kicks were just as legendary. Nike capitalized on this phenomenon with a new level of athlete endorsements.
Good chance you don’t know Jim Riswold – but you definitely know his work. He was a copywriter at Portland’s favorite ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy. Riswold worked on most of Nike’s iconic ads during that golden era. The ads were polished, humorous, and brilliantly executed.
“Money, it’s gotta be the shoes!”
W+K’s Air Jordan ads featured MJ & Spike Lee (a.k.a. Mars Blackmon). The series of commercials and print ads wear the crown as some of the most impactful campaigns of all time. There’s no doubt, the Mars Blackmon era helped shape today’s sneaker scene.
Jump ahead to present… after 28 years, the AJ VI continues to endure and evolve. Next on the list of significant releases? The Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6. The hype surrounding this release is on par with Scott’s AJ1 drop.
This one has a tough military vibe with a muted olive suede upper. This is set off with contrasting black and pops of University Red. The big shift away from the OG makeup is the lateral stash pockets and glow-in-the-dark sole pods. Luckily the 3M reflective detail beneath the upper’s perforations remain. Polishing the look is a distressed tongue edge, semi-translucent heel pulls, NIKE AIR x CACTUS JACK co-branding on the heels and lace locks.
This is one of the few 2019 drops with this level of hype. For OG sneakerheads, it should be a welcome release (though the $250 price tag is a bit heavier than the OG’s $125 cost). Travis Scott’s collab will introduce a new generation of sneaker fans to a model that changed the game and paved the way for the sneaker culture we know today.
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 6
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Color: Color: Medium Olive/Black-Sail-University Red
Style #: CN1084-200