In fact, the Air Jordan 1 assumed the role of early adopter in terms of Michael Jordan’s signature styles receiving retro redesigns with a lifestyle twist. But that makes sense given the model's resemblance to the Nike Dunk High, which experienced a golden era in both premium and SB versions in the early-mid 2000s (greatly due to the possibilities for out-of-the-box color blocking).
Over time, as consumer interest in expansive use of materials, textures, et al. expanded, the OG Air Jordan 1 colorways remained appreciated, but ultimately didn’t suffice. For this reason, the model has been a canvas for some of the best lifestyle redesigns in recent years (and possibly ever).
Stadium Goods revisits the best in modern times.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Black/Metallic Gold"
Style: 555088 019
Release Date: April 13, 2013
Not to be confused with the ultra rare black and gold Air Jordan 1 OG, this pair from 2013 (an extremely limited release) is similarly touted for its patent leather look. The shoe features a mostly black upper with gold accenting the Swoosh, Wings logo, and Nike branding on the tongue. This pair is modeled after a rare original sample of the legendary sneaker.
fragment design x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
Style: 716371 040
Release Date: December 27, 2014
In 2015 Hiroshi Fujiwara's renowned fragment design label exhibited its Midas touch while creating one of the most coveted editions of the Air Jordan 1.
The look is based on an original unreleased sample, with the end result being an amalgam of the OG “Black Toe” and “Royal” colorways. (The pair is more "Black Toe" than anything, though.) Appealing to the eye, this Air Jordan 1 was released in very limited quantities, as it spares us most of the big collaboration theatrics, save for fragment design branding on the heel.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Shattered Backboard"
Style: 555088 005
Release Date: June 27, 2015
MJ's NBA journey began in 1984, with much of his playing days that followed seeing significant coverage and near-immediate immortalization.
However, the story of an exhibition game he participated in back in 1985 in Trieste, Italy, greatly slipped through the cracks. This was where His Airness famously shattered a glass backboard with a thunderous dunk.
By now, you've probably guessed this game to be the inspiration behind the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG “Shattered Backboard.”
Constructed in high quality tumbled leather in the original hightop silhouette of the Air Jordan 1, the orange, black, and white colorway is taken from the team uniform MJ wore during the game and modeled after the OG “Black Toe” AJ1 color block. Highly limited upon its initial release, the “Shattered Backboard” Air Jordan 1 disappeared quickly and is now one of the most sought after nonoriginal colorways of the legendary shoe.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Satin Bred"
Style: 917359 001
Release Date: October 18, 2016
On October 18, 2016, without any prior notice, Jordan Brand celebrated the 32nd anniversary of the Air Jordan 1 getting banned from NBA wear with a thematically sound pop-up shop at 108 Wooster Street in New York City, where they held a grand unveiling for the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Satin Bred."
The shoe was among a limited run of product housed in the space – the Air Jordan 1 Retro "Bred," a then-unreleased Air Jordan 1 "Black Toe" retro (2016), matching apparel, and the aforementioned special edition of the "Bred" AJ 1 with satin construction.
The Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Satin" sees the classic silhouette return with a luxe twist, anchored by subtle details including gold aglets and a white quilted leather insole account for the premium accents. Only 501 pairs exist, each numbered.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Top 3"
Style: 555088 026
Release Date: November 28, 2016
At this point, "What The" designs are either scorching hot or regrettable trash. No ifs, ands, or buts. Thankfully, Jordan Brand got the look right with the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Top 3."
The design is a simple, but tasteful combination of the "Bred," "Royal," and "Chicago" colorway, each segmented throughout the paneling on the upper. The sneaker is a Remastered retro, meaning that it's constructed with premium leather.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Satin Royal"
Style: 921193 007
Release Date: April 1, 2017
History repeated itself on April 1, 2017. But there were no jokes to be found.
Jordan Brand commemorated the 2017 retro release of the Air Jordan 1 “Royal” with an extremely limited pair of an adjacent satin version.
The iconic model first arrived with this luxury construction the previous year with a “Banned” release. However, instead of a plush pop-up shop in New York City's SoHo neighborhood, the "Royal Satin" AJ 1 was dropped exclusively at famed Atlanta retailer Walters and Houston’s Active Athlete 88 – two of the oldest Jordan accounts.
There were a total of 700 pairs, each numbered. To scale, this shoe’s silhouette is standard, with the satin construction providing a luxury feel. Gold aglets appear on the laces. The traditional white midsole/royal outsole combination completes the look.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Wings"
Style: AA2887 035
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Like Michael Jordan’s storied NBA career, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High “Wings” is layered – emphasis on the word “layer” here.
Created in a limited run of 19,400 pairs, the shoe is a visual representation of Jordan’s inner-confidence, as depicted by a gold undertone layer that appears atop of a black leather upper.
The details on the shoe are stunning: ‘Wings’ detailing can be seen under the flap on the ankle paneling, the heel sports MJ’s iconic outstretched arms pose from the 1989 ‘Wings’ poster, and the dark icy blue outsole has ‘Wings’ printed underneath. You see see the consistency here. Also, each pair is individually numbered.
OFF WHITE x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
Style: AA3834 101
Release Date: September 6, 2017
Everything OFF WHITE founder and designer Virgil Abloh touches turns into gold. If you question that statement, look no further than his highly anticipated collaboration with Nike for proof.
The highlight of "The Ten" footwear collection is this deconstructed version of the Air Jordan 1. Here, we see classic silhouette in the "Chicago" colorway in a look that would make if Dr. Frankenstein proud, if his mad scientist ideals were informed by the streets of NYC's Soho neighborhood. The entire collection is broken up into two categories – “REVEALING” and “GHOSTING” – with the AJ 1 appearing in the former, defined by a hand-cut, open-source, and reconstructed look.
The pair features an oversized Swoosh with blue and orange stitching. The upper is mostly leather, with a mesh-like material on the toe box. The word "AIR" appears in bold lettering on the midsole to complete Abloh's redesign.
Aleali May x Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
Style: AJ5991 062
Release Date: October 28, 2017
Aleali May clearly has an eye for design and the Midas touch to match. The model and fashion consultant is also a known proud sneakerhead, who rose to the occasion when given the opportunity to mastermind a new look for the Air Jordan 1 High.
Her concept blends familiar looks and an ambitious use of materials. Using the classic "Shadow" colorway, Aleali May repurposes the luxury satin-constructed version with a twist. Satin only appears on the toe box, ankle, and heel on May's creation, with the rest of the upper sporting a black corduroy inspired by the house slippers that her father and uncle used to wear. A chenille Swoosh completes the look.
Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Gold Top 3"
Style: 861428 001
Release Date: November 4, 2017
Complex Con's attendance increased tenfold for its second annual event, which invaded Long Beach, California, from November 4-5. A fact that makes more sense when considering just how many high profile sneakers were exclusively released during the weekend.
For many, the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Top Three Gold" was the best in show, and it's quite clear why. Re-appropriating the "Top Three" mash up concept, we see MJ's first signature silhouette dressed in a shiny patent leather in a Black, White, and Metallic Gold colorway. The color blocking gives each shoe a distinct look.
The pair was released in limited quantities by Union Los Angeles.