Back Door Bottega has scored one of the most exclusive Nike drops of the year. The Italian sneaker store is releasing the first retro of the 1985 Banned Nike Air Ship Pro on August 7. Unfortunately, the sneaker will only be released via an in-storeraffle and a Europe-exclusive online raffle. Time to hit up your European plugs.
This will be the first time Nike is releasing an accurate reproduction of the sneaker that was banned by the NBA back in the ’80s. Though it has always been assumed to be a “Bred” Air Jordan 1, it was actually its predecessor, the Nike Air Ship Pro that broke NBA guidelines. At the time, the black and red kicks did not meet NBA regulations on the use of colors on footwear.
Michael Jordan wore the infamous sneakers for three pre-season games, receiving a fine each time he did so. Nike paid each one of the fines and kept the sneakers on the court, though oddly enough, never did turn them into a mass release. As it turns out, the banned Nike Air Ship Pro was a placeholder for the Air Jordan 1. At that time, Jordan’s first signature sneaker was still in development and would largely be based on the Nike Air Ship Pro.
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This makes the Banned Nike Air Ships a special sneaker in Nike’s archive. It marked the beginning of the rebellious partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike while contributing to the development of the iconic Air Jordan 1. Finally, Nike and Back Door Bottega are giving the sneaker the recognition the sneaker has always deserved.
All images: Back Door Bottega