The "Cool Grey" look has grown to become something of a staple for Jordan Brand, the palette hitting new silhouettes every couple of years. It all started on 2001's Air Jordan 11 "Cool Grey," a retro colorway that pushed consumers to consider Michael Jordan's eleventh signature shoe in a new light.
While there wasn't any explanation or storytelling around the sneaker when it come out, a retrospective on the palette at Nike breaks down its origins.
"The Air Max 95 running shoe was a hot shoe at the time," explains Gentry Humphrey in the piece. "I woke up early one morning and wanted to do an Air Jordan 11 version of the Air Max 95 but twist it up to make it right for the basketball consumer."
Humphrey was Jordan's footwear product director at the time, and went on to influence the brand's sneakers for years to come.
The piece is timed to the latest "Cool Grey" Jordan, an Air Jordan 8 releasing on Aug. 26.