Browse all

Is a Ralph Lauren and Jordan sneaker on the way?

The designer appeared at his latest show wearing a very rare pair of Air Jordan 14s

Is a Ralph Lauren and Jordan sneaker on the way? The designer appeared at his latest show wearing a very rare pair of Air Jordan 14s

There are many reasons why Ralph Lauren's FW22 show was memorable: it may have been the Museum of Modern Art takeover, the black and white colorway with touches of red of all the looks, the supermodels who walked the runway, the fact that it was the brand's first show since the FW19 season - but among the many moments to remember, there is also the final appearance of Lauren herself at the end of the show.  A bit like Miuccia Prada, Lauren's outfits are often the real "show within the show" of her brand but this year there was an unusual detail: the American designer wore a pair of Air Jordan 14. The model is quite rare, released in '98 and now resold on resell platforms at four times the original price. And the presence of this unobtainable pair of shoes on Lauren in a show so important for the brand has immediately fueled rumors of a possible collaboration between Ralph Lauren and Jordan.

The idea seems out there - but it might also make sense. Not that Lauren is a stranger to the world of archival sneakers. In 2019, a photo of him wearing a pair of 1997 Nike Air Bakin made the rounds of the internet, the same happened the year before when Lauren wore a pair of Salomon XA Pro 3Ds to the CFDA Awards and when he was immortalized chatting with Virgil Abloh wearing a pair of Air Jordan 13s. That the designer and his brand possess athletic inclinations is something obvious, just think of the fact that the brand's most famous line, Polo, is named after a sport or the many photos of Lauren doing physical activities with his wife - whether it's swimming or horseback riding. And the brand had produced basketballs while the Polo Bear holding a basketball is one of the most iconic versions of the brand's famous mascot. In general, then, basketball is part of the American, collegiate, athletic and New York myth that Lauren represents.

A collaboration, among other things, would make sense from the perspective of the brand whose initiatives this year have enjoyed enormous resonance: the first is obviously the New York show while the second is the campaign of the collection created for the historic Black colleges Morehouse and Spelman, whose models were the same alumni of the two universities and which enjoyed great success online. On both occasions, the brand reaffirmed its prestige, its unique status in the luxury scene (Ralph Lauren is both an elite and mass brand) after the start of the brand's reshaping in 2018, which saw a slow but progressive retreat from the lower end of retail such as department stores or outlets along with a slight increase in prices. The link-up of Ralph Lauren and Jordan would thus be something historic if, of course, it turns out to be more than just a rumor.