When the original Air Jordan Flight Suit debuted in 1985, athletic gear wasn’t exactly something you’d wear for a night on the town. And you certainly wouldn’t wear it at the office. Now, however, athletic style has infiltrated practically every facet of our lives. So how do you re-imagine an iconic ’80s warm-up suit—one that was primarily meant for pre-game shooting drills—and turn it into a lineup of apparel stylish enough to stand out in this athleisure golden age? You go sleek and minimal.
“If we know our Jordan customer, they really want to be stylish on and off the court,” says David Creech, VP of design at Jordan brand, about the Fall 2017 collection’s move toward a more stripped-back aesthetic. “And since the most coveted colors with Jordan are black and white, we thought, why not elevate that into a statement?” And the statement seems to be that things are getting a lot more sophisticated, with every piece in the collection offered in either solid black or solid white—no reds or blues or any other of the colors regularly associated with the Jordan brand.
To highlight the move towards a crisp minimalist look, the collection’s launch party was held in a spare modernist mansion high up on a hilltop in Beverly Hills, California. In the garage of the house was a replica of Michael Jordan’s circa-1980s Ferrari Testarossa—painted black on one side, and white on the other—with an assortement hoodies, tech fleece pants and pullovers, coach’s jackets, and bombers surrounding it, all punctuated by the three new sneaker silhouettes that will launch as part of the collection. And buried in all of this sleek minimalism is a subtle nod to the brand’s early DNA.
“We have a design language that no one else can own,” says Creech, “and with some of the things in this line, we were really inspired by the original flight suit. So we bring some of that detail through.” Small references, like the curved vertical stripes on the chest of the original flight suit, and the original Jordan wings logo, make appearances throughout the collection. “The key for us is always drawing back to storytelling around the DNA of Jordan,” says Creech. “And then to mix in innovation with the best material and style.”
Overall, it’s a lineup of gym-ready wear that will elevate your style regardless of whether you’re actually working out, or simply stunting for a bit of street style cred. And it flows quite seamlessly with the whole health goth theme that’s been spreading like wildfire throughout the athleisure world (which, sidenote, will hopefully one day be the name of a retirement community for fashion bloggers in Florida). The entire collection will be available in select Nike stores and on nike.com this coming fall.