Air Jordan V Retro SP x Virgil Abloh

Nike's Chicago Collaborators' Collection features the Off-White x Jordan V

Air Jordan V x Virgil Abloh

The NBA All-Star Weekend was held in Chicago last week, attracting fans of the game, celebrities, and sneakerheads from all over the country. People gathered to watch the slam dunk and three-point contests, as well as the All-Star Game, where the biggest stars in the league went toe-to-toe. The basketball and sneaker communities are closely intertwined, which is why the release of multiple limited-edition shoes coincided with all the basketball madness, including the Adidas Yeezy QNTM and the Jordan V Retro x Off-White. All-Star Weekend is a time for brands to introduce new iterations of their basketball shoes, often releasing them only at the location of the event. Kanye and his team drove around the streets of Chicago in Sherpa ATVs, giving pairs of the new Yeezy basketball shoes out the backs the vehicles. The shoes were also made available in select retailers throughout the city. Similarly, the latest Off-White x Jordan sneaker was exclusively sold via raffle in Chicago and on the Nike SNKRS app.

The Off-White x Jordan 5 follows a black and gray color scheme with red accents. The shoe has a vintage aesthetic, which is accomplished by the yellowed outsole, plastic lace fasteners, and netted rubber siding, in addition to the washed black upper. Abloh’s signature style of deconstruction is shown by his use of translucent panels and unfinished foam edges on the sneaker. The circle cutouts on both sides of the shoe remain the most eye-catching aspect of his design. On the inside of each shoe, the circles reveal the Off-White x Nike stamp, while others show through to the other side. The sneaker comes with red, white, and black laces, along with the iconic Off-White zip-tie.

In a recent interview with The Undefeated, Abloh discusses his inspirations behind the shoe. He chose to work with the Jordan V because it was the first shoe he convinced his parents to buy for him, and he vividly remembers watching Michael Jordan playing on-court in black Jordan Vs. He comments on the ageless design of the sneaker, noting that the silhouette has remained relevant for over two decades. Abloh adds that he designed the sneaker to be incomplete, leaving a DIY element to consumers. He hopes that owners of the sneakers will take the design into their own hands and even encourages people to cut out the holes in their pairs. Personally, I think the concept of customizing your own sneakers and finishing the design process is cool, but I definitely wouldn’t cut actual holes in my own shoes.

Since the date of release for the Air Jordan V Retro x Off-White, the shoes have been selling on third-party marketplaces for around $750-$1,000. This substantially high price is the result of both exclusivity and limited quantities. Anyone attempting the purchase the sneaker who was not present in Chicago for All-Star weekend had to participate in the SNKRS drawing, which blessed only a select few with the opportunity to secure them. On the Saturday morning of the drop, I woke up at 10:50 and was disappointed because I thought the draw had already closed; however, I was please to find out the raffle actually began at 11:00. After entering for a size 10, I patiently waited for a sign that I was selected. The SNKRS app is typically laggy, and even glitches out at times, so I did not get my hopes up when the ‘Enter Draw’ button read ‘Purchased’. Nevertheless, upon checking my bank account, it displayed that a transaction for $239 was pending.

After observing the price of the shoes for a few days, I noticed the trend of the resale price matched that of other hyped sneakers: Start off absurdly high, drop by a couple hundred dollars over the course of a few days, and then make a small recovery. Initially following the release, they were being sold for as much as $1100, I assume by people who had snagged their pairs in Chicago and could actually meet the shipping deadlines set by reselling platforms. I listed my pair for $1,000 on eBay and ended up accepting an offer for $900 because I feared an impending plummet in resale value. Unfortunately, the buyer sent me a message apologizing for the fact that he was unable to actually pay for the shoes. Upon cancelling the transaction, I decided to place an ask on StockX for $815, and they sold within an hour. Sure enough, as people began receiving their packages from Nike, pairs slowly flooded the market and those eager to sell made their pairs available for lower prices. Within the next few days, the average price met a slow decline, eventually bottoming-out at around $750. Since then, the value has made somewhat of a rebound, going back up to the mid-800s. Despite a saturation of Nike x Off-White shoes on the market, collaborative projects between Virgil and Nike never fail to seize the attention of the streetwear community.