Given that Jordan brand’s retro program succeeds not just on iconic sneaker design but also the power of nostalgia, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that its biggest selling sneakers to date combined two of our favorite things about the mid-’90s: the Air Jordan XI and the movie Space Jam.
Without mentioning any specific figures, Nike brand president Trevor Edwards said on yesterday’s 2017 Q3 earnings call that the 2016 “Space Jam” Air Jordan XI release “was the largest and most successful shoe launch in the history of Nike.” Which makes perfect sense. Sure, there was a major marketing push, but the elements were all there from the get go: People love the ’90s, people love Air Jordan 11s, and people love Space Jam. Throw in a time-traveling DeLorean and some power laces and you would have had the most epic pair of shoes in history.
Michael Jordan debuted the original XIs for the ’95-’96 season-—his first back from retirement—and, with their wraparound patent leather, they were an immediate hit. Their popularity then escalated after Jordan wore them in Space Jam, making them one of the most covetable sneakers of all time.
There’s a lot of other info to parse in Nike’s latest earnings report, if you’re so inclined. Sadly, though, the document doesn’t mention anything about a rerelease of the smash-hit 11s. Only time will tell.