The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 34 — Women run Jordan Brand

You love to see it.

Good morning, family! Happy Friday! Welcome back to The Kicks You Wear! Thank you for giving me a bit of your time on this glorious Friday morning. As always, I really appreciate it.

Today’s shoutout goes to all the CPA’s out there. It’s wild that tax season is already here, but it is. Make sure y’all get them joints done, fam. I don’t want to see none of y’all getting hemmed up out here like Wesley Snipes.

Y’all bout ready? Let’s get right to it.

The Jumpman is jumping again because of its women

(Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash)

We all remember the hole Jordan Brand was in three years ago when Adidas was still on the rise. They were down bad…really bad.

That’s not the case anymore. We talked about their path to their first billion dollar quarter at the tail end of last year. Apparently, their numbers are still on the rise.

  • Jordan Brand says their growth is up by triple digits for the 2019 fiscal year so far and that they believe there’s still room to grow, according to a report from Forbes’ Tim Newcomb.

  • We take any numbers from a brand with a grain of salt, obviously, until they’re actually available in a report. But it’s clear that, following up from their billion dollar quarter, they’re keeping the pressure on.

Women are fueling their rise. They dedicated themselves to creating new product for their female consumer base at the start of 2018 and are reaping the benefits of it now. Jordan’s women’s division took the necessary steps to go out, listen and then create alongside their consumer base instead of trying to come up with something that just doesn’t work like so many others do.

They took a three-pronged approach to revitalizing their women’s product, per Forbes.

  • They latched on to the classic Air Jordan 1 model and created specific interpretations and colorways exclusively for women. Think about the Satin Shattered Backboard’s, for example.

  • Next, they brought in different female designers to put their specific touch on hits like Olivia Kim with the Pony AJ4 or Aleali May 1’s and 6’s. They allow them to make women exclusives everyone wants — not men exclusives that women have to struggle with sizing to wear.

  • Finally, they retro’d women exclusives including this riffing off the AJ13 that was the first ever Jordan built specifically for women.

It was a brilliant strategy that has very clearly worked really well for them and put them into a position no other brand is in right now — including Nike, it’s parent company.

The reason why it’s working so well is a no brainer. The leadership team for their women’s division is entirely comprised of women. Those women go out and talk to more women about what they want to see. They’re not just throwing stuff at the wall. This is what happens when you hire women and allow them to make decisions for you pertaining to women. Wild concept, I know.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This isn’t something that’s new. The female consumer base in the sneaker industry has always been there, waiting to be tapped into. That’s all Jordan Brand is doing right now. Salute to them for finally seeing it.

If Jordan Brand can do it, any one can. They hadn’t had a woman design a shoe for their brand until 2010. This kind of leap is unprecedented.

What a difference a decade makes.

Nike jumps in on sustainability

(Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash)

It’s been a long ass time coming and we’ve been waiting, but it’s finally here. Nike is finally jumping in the ring with a product centered around sustainability.

  • They’re late to the game. As I wrote on Monday, Adidas is expanding its Parley initiative again and has been developing that since 2012.

  • Aside from them, there are a number of other brands who’ve already claimed a stake in the arena including Allbirds, Veja and more. It was only a matter of time before Nike jumped in, but it was a question of when.

They’re here now and the product they’re championing looks absolutely incredible. Introducing the Space Hippie.

These four shoes are made out of literal trash. Nike combined the scraps they leave behind from their design process, recycled plastics, t-shirts and yarn to cobble these together. And, I’ve got to say, they look damn good.

There are four different models with the fourth one (my favorite) being a women’s exclusive. There hasn’t been a release date confirmed just yet but they’ll be available in the spring.

This is groundbreaking for a number of different reasons. No, Nike isn’t the first to dive into sustainability. But as the sneaker industry’s leader, they’re definitely the biggest to do it.

  • It’s not just the fact that this shoe is sustainable. It’s the fact that they changed their whole design process up to do it. This is part of a larger plan Nike created in September to cut emissions and waste.

  • They turned their own scraps into recycled materials, used environmentally friendly factory practices to build them and built a sustainable model. You can read more about that process here.

This isn’t the biggest innovation in sustainability for sneakers and Nike still has a ways to go before they catch Adidas on this, but it’s great to have the two biggest companies in the industry taking a step back and changing their processes for the betterment of the Earth. This is how business should be done.

I’m big on the future of kicks and I think this is honestly what it looks like. The consumer cares more about sustainability than ever and there’s an actual market for something like this.

Obviously, you run into the problem of getting people to move away from the classics. But that’s something everyone has to figure out. Nike starts that process now, which is a great thing for the rest of us.

I can’t wait to cop a pair of these joints.

The best sellers list is here

Y’all know what time it is. The NPD group dropped a new report on the top selling sneakers of 2019 and it's filled with classics.

  • The athletic footwear industry’s growth saw a slight bump in the single digits, with Nike, Jordan Brand and Vans leading the way. Not a jump to be proud of but a jump nonetheless.

  • On the other side, Adidas, Converse, Skechers and Under Armour saw slight declines.

Here are the top 10 sellers from 2019 ranked in the order of dollar amount sold, according to the report from the NPD Group’s Matt Powell.

  1. Nike Air Max 270

  2. Nike Air Force 1 Low

  3. Nike Tanjun

  4. Adidas NMD R1

  5. Air Jordan 4

  6. Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2

  7. Vans Ward

  8. Converse Chuck Taylor Low

  9. Air Max 97

  10. Air Jordan 11

Here are some thoughts I had on what made the list and what didn’t.

  • There are a lot of classics on here. The Air Force 1, the Jordan 4, the Air Max 97. The retro game ain’t slowing down anytime soon, champ.

  • I am absolutely shocked that the Jordan 1 did not make this list. It felt like it was the biggest shoe of the year and they had so many different variations of it drop. Maybe it’s a stock thing?

  • Who knew the Air Max 270 would be this much of a hit when it dropped? I certainly did not.

  • Jordan seems to be ahead of Yeezy again. I wonder if that changes for 2020 with new Yeezy models coming along and a big push from Adidas soon.

  • Adidas has to get more sneakers on here. I don’t know if it’ll take lowering price points or pushing more Yeezy, but they’ve got to have more than two shoes on this list.

If you love Dragon Ball Z, you’ll love these

I don’t know if there are any other anime nerds who read this newsletter aside from myself, but fam, I came up on Dragon Ball Z and Naruto.

Anytime I see some shoes with any hint of anime on it, I go crazy. I’m still trying to find away to get some custom Kakashi Dunks — if you know, you know.

Anyway, I stumbled upon these joints while scrolling down my Twitter timeline. They are so fucking good, y’all.

For those of you who aren’t nerds like me, the character on this shoe is Kid Buu — one of the most dastardly, evil characters in the history of mankind according to me. Don’t judge. Buu is literally one of my favorite villains of all time.

Why? Because he just didn’t give a fuck. He can’t speak, really. He doesn’t interact. he just destroys shit. He blew up the Earth well, really, just because. Then proceeded to blow up other planets and terrorize the galaxy.

Like, fam. That’s savage.

Anyway, y’all probably didn’t need that story. I just hope you like those shoes because I love them.

Rest in Peace, Kid Buu. You were a dog, truly.



Not gonna hold y’all. The homie Adrian flexed on us twice this week. Like, bruh.

He pulled out some J’s, too. In the fucking snow. What a boss.

The homie Mike checked in with some 13’s. Stunting.

The homie Bill showed us some love last week with his Lunars.

Nola Darling pulled out the Olivia Kim Mowabbs a couple weeks ago and I had to share. They’re soooooo good.

Last and (honestly?) least, I pulled out my Nathan Bell Zoom Fly’s.

Thank y’all for jumping in on the fun! Y’all really got heat, man.

That’s a wrap for this week! Thanks, as always, for reading. It means a lot to me every single time. If there’s ever anything I’m not covering or if you want to see something you think I’m missing, don’t ever hesitate to let me know!

I love y’all. Stay up. Be blessed this weekend and be safe.

 Be easy. Be kind. Peace and love.

Signing off.

Sykes 💯