THE FUTURE OF JORDAN IS FEMALE

Jordan’s history and its Nike origins cannot be understood without a federal law known as “Títle IX”. Enacted in 1972, just when Nike was born, the law required schools to receive federal funding to provide the same educational and sports opportunities towards both genders. For the first time, men’s and women’s sections in each sport had to have the same accessibility when it came to the entry to installations and applying for scholarships and coaching positions.

The results; thousands of women approached physical exercise, at the same time that Nike was starting to grow. In the seventies it was rebelliousness and in the eighties, they were still fighting for full legal approval, they had to wait several decades for the visibility of the biggest stars of the sport to become something usual. In the nineties, women go from active participation to becoming the true leading role

While the Jordan Brand would establish itself as an independent brand, Nike launched its first sneaker with the name of a female player, Sheryl Swoopes. Designed by another woman, Marni Gerber, it was the start of a saga that had a lot from the woman that gave it its name; it wasn’t about making the feminine version of a men’s model but it was about solving the different needs of the best female basketball player of the moment. Dawn Staley, Cynthia Cooper and Lisa Leslie would join the select group of sportswomen with their own sneaker shortly after. Before long the Jordan Brand,  still with a small catalogue of products, launched for the first time a basketball model exclusively designed for women, starting a relationship that has just celebrated its twentieth anniversary.

The newer generations have grown up admiring Jordan just as much as those vanguards from women’s sport and they have been able to relate it to different influences from their own personal backgrounds. They are in debt to Michael’s playing style just as much as the effect that he created outside of the courts, these women are making Jordan’s legacy evolve until turning it into something that is completely new.

In 2010 Vashtie was the first woman to collaborate with the Jordan Brand, paving the way for special editions that go from reinterpretations for women designed by women to customisations inspired by Maya Moore, the heir to Michael’s courts. Sportswomen that came from other sports (Kori Carter), but also artists such as Tonia Calderon, Billie Eilish or stylists like Aleali May who have grown up surrounded by a culture in which Jordan was their connecting point, but also the first step to an evolution that blends its history with outside talent.

Two decades after its first women’s sneaker, Jordan knows that its future is also written with women’s names.