Since officially linking up with Virgil Abloh last year, it's hard not to notice that Nike is taking Off-White design elements and working them into non-collaborative product. Recently, there's been an upswing in sneaker releases that borrow the "unfinished" and "overbranded" aesthetic made popular by the label.
This isn't new territory—when Kanye West generated buzz with his Air Yeezy line, Nike followed with a long list of obvious Yeezy-inspired releases such as the Air Trainer Cruz. Now they've turned to Abloh, who seems to have brought back some of the youth-driven energy the brand lost to Adidas when West jumped ship in 2013.
Earlier today, sneakerdonwop leaked photos of an apparent upcoming Air Jordan 1 that's already drawing Off-White comparisons. The high-top features a bold orange leather and nylon upper, with large 'Nike' lettering along the left quarter panel and text from the back of the Jordan 1 tongue tag along the right. Following the share, sneakerheads instantly chimed in with not-so-positive feedback.
To be fair, Abloh hasn't voiced any issues with Nike releasing Off-White-flavored sneakers. He could also be working as a consultant of sorts behind-the-scenes. That won't stop sneakerheads from being vocal about the similarities—or purchasing the shoes. One tweet from J23app that these are even somewhat limited and people won't be able to hit that notification button on the SNKRS app quick enough. If these are the real deal, we'll update you with release information in the coming months.
UPDATE (05/29): As it turns out, there is more colorways scheduled to drop of this rendition of the Air Jordan 1. Thanks to @_aquamanjay on Instagram, there is now a look at renderings of six total color schemes below. IG user @mr_unloved1s has also provided an actual look at the olive green colorway from the upcoming leather and canvas AJ1 pack.
The high volume of options could indicate that this pack will be very limited or release in regional pockets similar to the recent "Best Hand in the Game" pack. An official release date and rollout plan is still up in the air.