Kith’s Ronnie Fieg Explains Why This Classic Air Jordan Is So Important

Ronnie Fieg, Nas and Steve Stoute
Designer Ronnie Fieg, rapper Nas and music mogul Steve Stoute.
Instagram: @ronniefieg

With 31 different Air Jordans released over the span of more than three decades, many of the Michael Jordan-endorsed models hold priceless memories cherished by sneakerheads. For Kith founder Ronnie Fieg, it’s the nostalgia behind the Air Jordan 11 that transports him back to the mid-’90s golden era of hip-hop music.

“I think it was ’96 — junior high — and my ex-girl bought me and all of her friends [the] Air Jordan 11 in white and legend blue,” Fieg said in a Jordan Brand blog. “I have many pairs at home; it was my favorite shoe. I feel like footwear and music are the two things that really can bring you back to that feeling you had when you were younger.”

To hear Fieg tell it, it was the North Carolina Tar Heels-inspired “Columbia Blue” (aka “Legend Blue”) shade that truly changed the sneaker world.

Air Jordan 11 Air Jordan 11 “Legend Blue” (aka “Columbia”). Nike

“I was listening to Jay-Z. I mean, obviously, that [‘Best of Me’] remix with Mya and her ‘Carolina Blue’ kicks,” Fieg said. “It was the first time I really saw that blue on a pair of shoes. Nobody really messed with that colorway until Jordan put that on the 11. It was Jay, it was Nas, it was right after Biggie passed. The mid-’90s was the best era.”

The Air Jordan 11 debuted in 1995 in a “White/Black/Dark Concord” style, while Fieg’s favorite “Columbia Blue” style first appeared in 1996. The “Columbia Blue” makeup saw a rerelease in 2001 and again in 2014, rebranded as “Legend Blue.”

Although 2014’s “Legend Blue” Air Jordan 11 is no longer available at retail, the sneakers can be found on eBay, with prices now starting at around $200.

Air Jordan 11 “Legend Blue,” from $200; ebay.com

Ronnie FiegAn illustration of Ronnie Fieg holding the Air Jordan 11 “Legend Blue” (aka “Columbia”). Nike

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