Early this year, whispers began to swirl that Union LA would deliver another set of collaborative Air Jordan 1s following their coveted 2018 pairs which fetch thousands on the resale market.
Many expected the latest to be along the lines of the previous AJ1s with some fresh schemes, of course. However, recently surfaced images of the alleged 2023 Union LA x Air Jordan 1 sneaker reveal we’re in for a fresh and unique spin from the Los Angeles brand.
These are not it.. not even close https://t.co/H0qFDzTtqn
— Aviator (@MrUnloved1s) March 28, 2023
In addressing the most obvious and distinctive feature, Union LA’s AJ1s boasts a woven detail that wraps the upper from the toe to the heel.
If you’re getting vibes from a particular Nike shoe (cough, the Footscapes), then your intuition is correct. The Union LA x Air Jordan 1’s upper undoubtedly draws cues from Nike’s Air Footscape Woven, known for its eye-catching woven concepts on the upper (Nike has been prepping the model for its comeback era, with some help from collaborators like sacai).
Other than the bold woven strike wrapping the shoe, Union LA’s Jordans seem to include the traditional leather build with some hints of suede on the Swoosh and ankle.
The shoe arrives in white with hints of grey, green, and yellow for the outlines — just a few selects from Union’s instantly recognizable palette. Like the 2018 AJ1s, the latest shoe also features those vintage details like the deliberately yellowed soles and intentionally exposed stitching.
While Union LA branding strikes up top like always, a cursive “BBS” get stitched on the heel — a hint that this could be a three-way collabo between Union LA, Jordan, and Beth Gibbs’ Bephies Beauty Supply.
It would certainly explain the Footscape vibes for the latest AJ1, as Beth married the Air Jordan 7 and Nike’s Mowabb (another underrated Nike model) for the BBS sneaker collab last year. It was easily one of my favorite drops last year.
And like with Beth’s unique spins, the Union LA x Air Jordan 1 also prompted divisive reactions — some are completely turned off by them, while others appreciate the Footscape influence and overall unique creativity which is sometimes lacking in team-ups nowadays.
Me? I’m part of the others in this one. I’m more here for this take by Union and Bephies Beauty Supply — it’s different and fun, and not just another color swap.
Whether Union’s Chris and Beth Gibbs cooked up more schemes is unknown, as these early looks only reveal one colorway. But if we’ve learned anything from past drops like the Air Jordan 4s and Nike Dunks, the LA label typically blesses fans with options.
When (or if) the collaborative Air Jordan 1s will release? The mystery remains. However, murmurs suggest we could see the shoes as early as August. But with in-hands looks, keep your eyes peeled for possible teases by the minds behind Union LA.
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