Yesterday, Jordan Brand unveiled the Air Jordan XX8 (28), which is being touted as the most technically advanced Air Jordan yet. In an event space in NYC's far West side, on hand were Spike Lee, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and storied designer Tinker Hatfield to debut Michael Jordan's latest signature shoe.
The presentation started with Jordan Brand president Larry Miller introducing Spike Lee. After bigging up his native Brooklyn borough's rich history, Mars Blackmon then introduced Carmelo Anthony. The two shared a brief discussion about NYC basketball before revealing that Lee, Melo and JB would be financially contributing in the rebuilding of Red Hook, which was heavily flooded by Superstorm Sandy.
From here, the media in attendance went upstairs where an installation of all the previous Air Jordan models in an all black colorway was at the back of the room. Montages of all previous models were shown on the space's walls before the doors hiding the stage were opened, revealing Air Jordan XX8's on display and flanking each side. This time Spike Lee brought out the shoes' main designer Tinker Hatfield to discuss its creation. According to Hatfield, who was rocking a pair of Nike boots used by Navy SEALS (note: we want those), his inspiration for the shoe was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies—specifically a scene where he storms in as a commando, only to have a tuxedo hidden underneath his clothes.
The shoe was also inspired by "stealth" and its design and tech apply to that theme. The Air Jordan XX8 is the lightest Air Jordan ever and features the Jordan Flight Plate, a Pebax® moderator plate that optimizes the response of its Nike Zoom cushioning. The shoe also features Dynamic Fit tech and, what most people first noticed, a shroud that is made of Schoeller mesh, a Swiss fabric used in high-end motorcycle jackets.
During the event, Hatfield pointed out how, referring to the True Lies inspiration, but reversed, the shoe was akin to a commando suit on the inside with a tuxedo on the outside. "With the ongoing evolution of the game shoe, I encourage our entire function to push the boundary when it comes to design, technology and performance," said Hatfield in a press statement. "The AIR JORDAN XX8 shoe really is basketball's answer to the concept car."
Russell Westbrook, who was last to hit the stage, will be taking a spin in the new kicks when his Oklahoma City Thunder face off with the Brooklyn Nets tonight.
The Air Jordan XX8 will be available only in Houston on February 15, 2013 (aka the start of NBA All-Star Weekend), and will then be available nationwide on Saturday, February 16. Cost of entry: $250.
Check out photos from Jordan's Brand's Air Jordan 28 launch event and detailed images of the new sneaker in the gallery. Would you rock these, on court or off?
Photos: Jordan Brand, aqua