Global sports brand Nike has chosen our local sneaker store Shelflife for its first collaboration on the African continent in creating the very first African Jordan.
The Jordan Brand, which created its first Air Jordan Sneaker in 1985 with basketball legend Michael Jordan, continues 37 years later to earn an astounding $3 million (R53 500 000) every five hours for Nike. Resales between collectors on the secondary market fetch up to 500% more than the original retail price.
“Nike chose only three stores worldwide to do a special co-lab with the Jordan 2 shoe aptly named the “International Flight Club” pack. The idea was to shine a spotlight on areas of the world that are passionate about Jordan sneakers but traditionally aren’t represented in mainstream media. Nike selected the Titan Store [https://titan22.com] in the Philippines, Shop Two 18 [https://two18.com] in Detroit, USA and us in South Africa,” says Founder and Creative Director of Shelflife.
Herbert added, “When they first called me, I was driving to a meeting. I actually couldn’t believe my ears and thought I was being pranked. Shelflife had been shortlisted to do a collab and we had to present to 30 members including top execs of Nike Jordan Global. It was a mad experience! I never thought that this would happen. Every sneaker store owner or sneakerhead dreams of the opportunity to work with Jordan to design a shoe.”
The Jordan and Shelflife collab took two years to develop. Herbert drew inspiration for the concept from the Shelflife team that makes it happen. He wanted to capture the essence of the people who show up each day to make sure the product gets to market.
Herbert explains, “Often it is only the CEO or owner of a business that is in the limelight. But each member of our team contributes equally. The Shelflife team are the most passionate, knowledgeable sneakerheads around – they understand it and live it and speak about it all day long.”
Herbert and his team worked together in designing the shoe and everyone’s input was valued. Each employee’s signature is featured on the shoe’s inner sole.
The TEAM ONLY shoe acknowledges the role of each member of the team, as well as the broader community, from the sales staff to the social media management, to the employee, designer and client. “Shelflife represents a collective who understands the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Nike released a statement saying, “Our collab with South Africa’s leading sneaker and streetwear store Shelflife, this fresh take on the AJ2 grounds you to the spirit of TEAM ONLY. And as Jordan Brand’s first collaboration with an Africa-based partner, it’s a celebration of bridging oceans and finding community.”
“There are now 35 people working for Shelflife and I am incredibly proud that this business is now supporting 35 families. It has taken 16 years to build the business to this point. The team take their jobs seriously and they work super hard – and I wanted to celebrate that,” concluded Herbert.
The Jordan x Shelflife range will be available at Shelflife in-store on 20 October in Cape Town and Johannesburg and online from 21 October. In addition to the sneakers, retailing at R3,899, the Jordan x Shelflife range includes a TEAM ONLY range of clothing. The range will be distributed globally through Jordan’s top-tier neighbourhood boutique partners and the Nike SNKRS app globally in October 2022.
Picture: Nick Herbert