Classic or Trash: Dior x Jordan 1 "Dior"
Classic or Trash: Dior x Jordan 1 "Dior"
- Words Asaf Rotman
- Date July 9, 2020
”Classic or Trash” is a recurring franchise highlighting a specific item and asking exactly that question: is it classic or trash? Granted, each member of the Grailed community is entitled to their own opinion, and while the Grailed editorial staff does its best to judge items objectively, we more than encourage you to disagree and sound off in the comments below.
Undoubtedly the year’s most anticipated sneaker, the Dior Jordan 1 is controversial, to say the least. Though officially debuted last December during Dior Men’s Pre-Fall 2020 show in Miami, rumors were running rampant for months of an upcoming Nike and Dior collaboration. The sneakers were all but confirmed when Travis Scott teased a pair on his Instagram, followed by Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones and senior footwear designer Thibo Denis. By the time of the show, the news had already broken and the sneaker world exploded.
Made in Italy entirely of Dior-approved leather, the shoe was designed to be, in Jones’ own words, the “most luxurious Air Jordan 1 ever.” Celebrating the sneaker's 35th Anniversary, the collaboration was an attempt to bridge the world’s of high-fashion and street culture, and create a silhouette that embodied both. Unfortunately, when images finally surfaced, the response was timid, at best.
At first, the collaboration seemed odd. Why would an established fashion house—particularly one that already has a thriving sneaker business following Kim Jones appointment and the launch of the B23—partner with an American athletic company, even one as storied as Jordan Brand? Yes, the Jordan 1 is one of (if not the) most iconic sneakers of all time, but this is Dior, the definitive French fashion house.
Something simply felt off. Unlike niche fashion labels and streetwear brands looking to expand their audience and build hype through a limited collaboration, Dior (alongside Chanel and Hermès) sits at the highest tier of luxury. Brand recognition is not an issue in any way, nor is demand. Of course Dior has clients who are interested in sneakers, but the majority of traditional Dior Homme shoppers—the name of the line prior to Jones’ appointment—could care less about sneaker culture, and are more likely interested in sleek minimal tailoring.
Not only is Dior one of the most valuable luxury goods brands in the world, it prides itself on image, exclusivity and a notoriously high barrier to entry. This is a brand for the elite—designed with their lifestyle in mind. A sneaker collaboration simply does not fit the bill. Considering Jones’ storied pedigree blending luxury and streetwear, if anything this partnership is symbolic of his tenure, rather than Dior as whole.
With a network ranging from Hiroshi Fujiwara to Matthew Williams, James Jebbia and the original Stussy tribe, Jones was the bridge between street culture and Paris runway fashion years before the infamous Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration. An infamous sneakerhead himself, Jones’ collection of OG 1985 Air Jordan 1s—along with his numerous limited-edition Fragment Design Jordans—would put any collector to shame. If anyone is a worthy candidate to design a high fashion Jordan, it’s no doubt him.
Still, encyclopedic knowledge and taste level aside, the result was simply not what any fan of either brand was expecting. Largely designed by Denis—a noted Nike SB collector and sneaker enthusiast—the shoe’s white/gray color palette was fine enough, but the signature Oblique pattern across the swoosh makes the sneakers more closely resemble Canal street bootlegs than anything else. Featuring a largely agreeable (if a touch corny) “Air Dior” logo on the heel instead, the shoe’s signature feature is a translucent (“icy”) outsole, widely detested and considered by many one of the worst looking additions to any Jordan model in years. In the context of both the Pre-Fall collection and the accompanying Dior x Jordan Brand capsule the shoes work fine, however on their own they are nothing special. Now, usually when an item is middle of the road there is little in the way of argument for either classic or trash, but when it boasts a four figure price tag and resells for nearly five-times retail, there’s plenty to be said.
With an MSRP of $2,200, the Jordan 1 launched via a dedicated microsite, where Dior gave fans the opportunity to register for one sneaker in their size (either the high top or more recently unveiled low top version), select a convenient point of purchase and entered into a raffle to purchase the sneaker. According to Dior, there were only 8,000 pairs available on the site, with an additional 5,000 available for private clients and seeded to friends and family for a total of 13,000 pairs—between both the high and low combined. Considering an average Jordan drop ranges anywhere from 100,000—to sometimes a million pairs in the case of the Jordan XI “Concord”—that is miniscule. For those lucky enough to both have the opportunity and ability to purchase at retail, not only is the sneaker truly exceedingly rare, but beyond that, it can instantly be flipped for a $6,000 profit at minimum. In that sense, regardless of how the sneaker looks, it is special. Since the release, some aftermarket prices have skyrocketed north of $20,000.
So, aesthetics aside, will this sneaker remain a big deal? Undoubtedly. Not only is it setting new records, it marks the first official instance of luxury goods houses recognizing that in order to stay relevant with the next generation of shoppers, they have to embrace and work alongside streetwear and sneaker culture. Do we like how they look? Not really. Are they a classic in the sense that they will have a lasting impact? Definitely. Are they worth 10 grand? Not a chance.
Now, we ask you: Is this sneaker classic or trash? Let us know in the comments below.
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