AJ1 Chicago, one of the Biggest Sneaker Release of the Year – and What went wrong with it?
If you’re a true sneakerhead, there’s no way you never came across this sneaker, heard of it, or seen it somewhere. The Nike Air Jordan 1 “Chicago”, an OG sneaker, also known as “Lost and Found” is a legendary sneaker that hit the shelves for the first time in 1985, 37 years ago. It was the first sneaker launched under the new collaboration between the Swoosh brand and Michael Jordan. Jordan 1 Chicago is the ultimate sneaker – one of the very few sneakers that sparked the culture.
Air Jordan, a hallmark in the sneaker community, is one the most successful franchise ever. Let’s date it back to the time when Nike decided to collaborate with Michael Jordan for a new franchise of sneakers, they were faced with a lot of criticism. At that time Jordan hadn’t even started to play for NBA, as Nike offered him the deal even before he started his rookie season. All the critics opposed the idea of signing a multi-million deal with a novice. Fast-forward a few decades, it turned out to be one of the greatest decisions by the duo. Jordan stepped on the court in the Jordan 1’s against the uniform policy and was fined $5000 by NBA every single time he wore the sneakers on the court. Nike found this to be a great marketing strategy and happily decided to pay the fine. Among the OG colorways, Jordan 1 Chicago stood out the most and caught the eye of fans all over the world. After his rookie season, Michael Jordan was named “Rookie of the Year,” making him and his sneakers the most sought-after duo of all time.
The Original Air Jordan 1 High Chicago
Designed by the great Peter Moore in 1984, Jordan 1 Chicago is a pair-extraordinaire designed for the one and only NBA Hall of Fame player, Michael Jordan. The pair may not be technologically advanced, but it was way ahead of time in terms of its design. Released on April 1, 1985, Jordan 1 Chicago was a high-top silhouette that featured Chicago Bull’s signature team colors; covering Red, Black, and White.
A sturdy leather construction featuring a white base and red overlays, Chicago continues with a perforated toe box for ventilation, a black swoosh representing Nike’s branding, and black “Ball-and-Wings” logo on the collar representing Jordan Brand’s branding. Finishing off with a black collar, the white and red contrasting sneaker included a compressed air pocket around the heel and some additional support around the ankles. The design finishes off with a white midsole over a red rubber outsole.
The Air Jordan 1 Chicago 2022
The Jordan 1 Chicago’s 2022 iteration ‘Lost and Found’ aims to showcase the story of an original ’85 pair, from its heritage to its shopping experience, everything. Paying homage to the original pair, Lost and Found takes you back to the ‘80s when there was no proper way inventorial process, all things were noted down on papers and journals, and the chances of making mistakes were high, leading to stock being lost in the basements and stockrooms. Later to be found with mismatched boxes and lids. The boxes also came with handwritten receipts.
The aim behind Jordan 1 Chicago 2022 “Lost and Found” is to give consumers and sneakerheads a taste of sneaker purchasing in the ‘80s. The sneaker designers want people to feel as if they’ve found the original vintage sneaker from 1985 in an old stockroom. The pair comes in a box with mismatched lids, sales stickers, and handwritten receipts, as well as two pairs of shoe laces. The sneaker itself has a distressed and worn-out appearance as if you found the original pair from the ‘80s. The pre-Yellowed midsole and cracked upper adds to the aged look of the sneaker, with a slightly bigger swoosh. The sneaker also features old-school technology and cushioning.
The designers studied several pairs of sneakers to understand their process of aging before reiterating the design. The common signs of the sneaker’s aging process included faded and cracked collars, dried-up toe boxes, and yellowed midsole. The Jordan 1 Chicago also had a slightly bigger swoosh as compared to other Nike silhouettes. Each pair is also designed differently, with distinct details that are reminiscent of the original, retaining the throwback theme.
Timeline of Jordan 1 Chicago
1986 – The Air Jordan 1 KO
After being released in 1985, AJ1 Chicago’s first iteration, AJKO, debuted a year later in 1986. It was a low-cost option that replaced the leather with durable canvas and was aimed at a broader low-income audience.
1994 – The first Air Jordan 1 Chicago Retro
The AJ1 Chicago Retro was released in 1994, and it matched almost all of the details but with minor tweaks.
2003 – Air Jordan 1 Chicago Bulls Patent
The AJ1 Chicago Bulls Patent was released in 2003, but this time in a glossy makeup to match the trends of the time. This iteration featured patent leather and, for the first time, a mid-cut AJ1 silhouette.
2021 – The AJKO Retro Second Edition
In 2021, the AJ1 KO Chicago Retro was released, which was a canvas material iteration with a yellowed-out midsole to give the impression of being an original.
2013 – Jordan 1 retro Chicago
The AJ1 Chicago High was retroed for the second time in 2013, but with minor design changes.
2015 – The third Air Jordan Chicago Retro
The third retro iteration of the AJ1 Chicago was released in 2015.
2017 – Off-White x AJ1 Chicago “The Ten”
Nike collaborated with Virgil Abloh in 2017 to release the Off-White x AJ1 Chicago “The Ten,” which featured a black “Air” Logo on the midsole.
2018 – Spider-Man Origin Story Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG
After appearing in the animated series Into the Spiderverse, the AJ1 Retro High OG was released in 2018. The red overlays on this pair stand out, and they feature 3M hits as well as a special swoosh designed to match Spiderman’s costume.
2021 – The Second AJKO Retro
The AJKO was retroed for the second time in 2021.
2021 – The AJ1 Retro High Trophy Room Chicago
The AJ1 Retro High Trophy Room Chicago was released in 2021 with an icy finish on the red overlays, Jordan’s signature on the heel, and translucent stars in the outsole.
The Lost and Found controversy
Right after the release of this highly-coveted sneaker, it fell into a controversy. As excited as the fans were to receive the cult-classic pair, they were just as disappointed by the delivery.
A photo was shared on Twitter that highlighted the issue. A few consumers received mold-covered pairs of the Jordan 1 “Lost & Found”. The delivery of mold-damaged sneakers was especially distressing because many consumers battled through app and service glitches to complete their purchases.
Although it is not yet known how much of the release was impacted by the mold, Nike is canceling online purchases that have the problem and asking retailers to return the defective items. Apparently, only less than 1% of sneakers in circulation were affected.
Learn more about the Nike Air Jordan 1 Chicago Lost and Found with mold over it in the following video.
Where can you find Jordan 1 Chicago 2022?
The Air Jordan 1 ‘Chicago’ aka ‘Lost and Found’ 2022 hit the shelves on the 19th of November, 2022, in full family sizing. The silhouette is available at SNKRS.com, the SNKRS app, Jordan Brand’s official stores, and select retailers. The price points of the silhouette are as follows:
GS (Grade School): $14
PS (Preschool): $85
TD (Toddler): $70
Crib (Infant): $50
Click here to read more on the early days of Air Jordan 1.