8 - 21 July

It’s the collaboration we’ve all been waiting for: a one-of-a-kind merging of storied, high-fashion couture (courtesy of Dior), with the world’s most iconic basketball sneaker (Air Jordan 1).

The Air Dior space at The Selfridges Corner Shop – the only one of its kind in the UK – is now open for winners of the Air Dior sign-up to collect their limited-edition sneakers, and for everyone to browse and shop the line-up of Air Dior ready-to-wear and accessories.

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To truly honour this landmark launch, we asked writer and trend consultant Samuel Trotman (@Samutaro on Instagram) to unbox the cultural significance of the Air Dior partnership.

When it comes to OG sneakers, you’d be hard pressed to think of a style that holds as much cultural clout as the Nike Air Jordan 1. Not only is it the first signature sneaker of basketball’s most-celebrated player, Michael Jordan, it’s also arguably the most important sneaker in the history of footwear. What began as a basketball sneaker in 1984, found a second life with skateboarders in the late 80s, and fuelled the retro-crazed world we live in today, the Air Jordan 1 is a style that has transcended sports and changed fashion and sneaker culture for ever.

So how do you top an icon that has been universally beloved for 35 years and has a tendency to sell out with each subsequent release? Easy: just talk to Kim Jones. Last December, the Creative Director of Dior Homme broke the internet when he unveiled his couture take on the Air Jordan 1 during the luxury brand’s Pre-Fall 2020 runway show in Miami Beach, Florida. Dubbed online as the ‘Diordan’, the sneakers immediately gained mythical status – mainly due to the fact that no information had leaked until the sneakers were sent down the Shawn Stussy-designed catwalk that night. Naturally, the release raised a feverish hype among sneakerheads, who were scrambling to figure out exactly how Jones had left his mark on the Jordan masterpiece. 

The Air Dior collection, coming to Selfridges London in July

Jones is no stranger to collaborations, having worked with everyone from Kaws, Daniel Arsham and Hajime Sorayama – all of which have been accomplished within Jones’ two-year tenure at the helm of Dior Homme. In 2017, Jones made fashion history when he engineered an unfathomable collaboration between Supreme and Louis Vuitton. But now, for Fall 2020, he pays proper respect to an originator, honouring the GOAT through a line-up of Jordan Brand apparel, accessories and sneakers, reimagined through the emblematic style of Maison Dior.

“I chose to collaborate with Jordan Brand because it’s iconic, just like Dior,” says Jones. “Jordan is one of America’s leading brands and an icon all over the world. To bring them together in this special collaboration is to propose something exciting and truly new.” For Jordan Brand VP of Design, Martin Lotti, the collaboration came about thanks to a genuine connection and desire to expand the dimensions of each brand through creativity and design innovation. “Our partnership with Dior offers a new look into the style of basketball and blends high-end streetwear with luxury fashion,” says Lotti.

Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan and celebrating the first Dior men’s collection debut in the United States, the partnership draws together the different cultures of America and France and of haute couture and high-performance sportswear, in a way never seen before. Jones cites that the main inspiration for the Air Dior Collection comes from Michael Jordan’s off-court style. “He wore suits all the time – I love that!” says Jones. The collection, which Jones describes as a mix “between tailoring and luxurious sport attitude” brings together the fashion house’s exceptional tailoring expertise with an 80s American sportswear feel inspired by the legendary basketball player.


Our partnership with Dior offers a new look into the style of basketball and blends high-end streetwear with luxury fashion.

- Martin Lotti, VP of Design at Jordan Brand

The heritage of both brands is valued, respected, and each is given equal gravitas. Take for instance the Air Dior logo, which harmoniously blends the Dior’s name with Jordan’s iconic wing motif. “I love that the Air Dior logo has the feel of 60s travel, which seems extremely luxurious to me,” says Jones. And he’s not far off. The story of the iconic Air Jordan ‘Wings’ logo came about when Peter C Moore – the designer tasked with creating Jordan’s first shoe back in 1984 – was flying home from a meeting and on the plane noticed the plastic wings on a pin that a kid had just received from a flight attendant. Moore started drawing the wings on a napkin and put the basketball in the middle of it. In a truly legendary fashion, what started as a quick sketch on a napkin, went on to become the iconic logo that we know and love today.

Surprise details include the upsized scale of The Nike Swoosh in Dior Oblique jacquard

While the clothing will mainly appeal to Dior fans who are already familiar with Jones’ elevated tailoring, it’s the hype of the limited-edition Air Jordan 1 High OG and Low that have got the internet going nuts. For Lotti, the Air Jordan 1 High OG is a timeless statement of bold defiance. “Celebrated around the world, the silhouette epitomises a true style icon, and has continued to be the perfect canvas for our team and collaborators to leverage as we continue to push the Jordan Brand forward."

Staying true to its original spec, Jones and Dior’s Men’s Head Footwear Designer, Thibo Denis, set about reimagining the shoe in the élan of the Parisian ateliers of Dior Homme. One of the most interesting points about the design is that it is the first Jordan model to be crafted entirely in Italy in over 30 years. (The last ones to be made in Italy were the Air Jordan 2s back in 1986.) “The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior is entirely ‘Made in Italy’. We used Italian leather and we worked on the construction exactly in the same way we would have crafted a bag, with painted edges and special stitching,” says Jones. The most apparent innovation is the hard sole, which is transparent with a printed logo – there’s a different logo on each foot, for example the Air Dior Wings and the Dior logo. “This transparency is made possible only by using a special rubber in a specific colour,” explains Jones.

When thinking about the colourway, Jones and Thibo looked to the Neutral 85 Jordans, a style that is rumoured to return in 2021. Despite serving as a popular colourway in the 80s, Nike and Jordan Brand have notably strayed away from Neutral Grey in favour of more vivid, colour-based design schemes. But when it came to the Dior team putting their touch on the Italian-made sneaker, it was essential to pay tribute to Dior’s first shades – a colour synonymous with the Maison since its founding in 1947. The silhouette is created with the fine calf-leather that characterises Maison Dior’s leather goods, edge-painted and accented by an upper of buttery white leather. The remix of the iconic Jumpman Wings logo is embossed on the upper and features the words ‘AIR DIOR’. 


The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior is entirely ‘Made in Italy’. We used Italian leather and we worked on the construction in the same way we would have crafted a bag, with painted edges and special stitching.

- Kim Jones, Creative Director of Dior Homme

If you’ve already seen unboxing clips from Daniel Arsham and the Dior Youtube video between Thibo and Sean Wotherspoon, you will already be filled in on some surprise details, like the upsized scale of The Nike Swoosh, which is executed in Dior Oblique jacquard. “The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior has a specific size of Swoosh, which is much bigger compared to the classic Air Jordan 1 High OG. Also, the Swoosh incorporates the Dior Oblique pattern,” says Jones. Looking inside the shoe, there’s more meticulous details to uncover. The same Dior motif is scaled down and laser-etched into the insoles at a 50 per cent scale and on the tongue the Dior motif reappears through a fine tonal jacquard. Each pair comes boxed with matching dust bags and accessories including metal hangtags and extra waxed laces placed in their own protective dust bags.

The Air Dior collection, coming to Selfridges London in July

One question a lot of sneakerheads have been asking is the availability of the limited-edition shoes. The answer is revealed on the lot number patch that’s sewn inside each unique pair. The Air Jordan 1 High OG Dior is limited to a mere 8,500 pairs – a nod to the year the Jordan 1 first appeared: 1985. Meanwhile, an ultra-rare low-top iteration features in a tiny edition of 4,700 in homage to the year that Christian Dior debuted his legendary New Look: 1947.

While some fans have been left astonished by the £1,800 price tag (one of the most expensive Air Jordans at retail of all time), true Jordanheads will know that the sneakers are a fair price for a luxury take on the iconic style. As interest in vintage-styling and Nike’s retro past has continued to grow, so has the price. Ever since Air Jordan 1 debuted with the infamous ‘banned’ colourway, also known as the ‘Bred’ (or Black and Red), the sneakers have been selling out instantly – aside from when Nike oversaturated the market in 1985. But, as everyone knows, this proved a blessing for skaters looking for affordable sneakers at the time.

Thirty-five years is a long time for a sneaker to be continually reimagined, re-contextualised and reinjected into the culture. But Kim Jones and the Dior Maison have proven that an ethos around obsession with detail, couture craftsmanship and respect for Jordan Brand’s original design, the legacy of the icon can be carried forward with excellence. Today, the shoe will be hunted after just like it was the first time, proving there’s a long future ahead of it.