And1 is bringing back a ’00s-favorite basketball shoe.
The brand rereleased its Tai Chi style — which gained fame when Vince Carter sported it for the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest — at ComplexCon on Nov. 2.
“It was just a moment you can’t script where you have an iconic product with an iconic athlete, and it produced what we saw in that 2000 Slam Dunk Contest,” And1 general manager John Scipio explained to FN during the brand’s big presentation at the sneakerhead convention, where the shoes debuted on a splashy street-basketball-inspired court followed by a panel on And1’s history.
The brand also released an anniversary edition of the Tai Chi, along with two colorways for the Tai Chi “Mixtape.”
And1’s roots lie in street culture, and the brand’s DNA lies in the street ball, music and graffiti movements of the ’90s.
Scipio and creative director Kevin Garnett, a former basketball star, both joined the And1 team in 2018. While the brand is hoping to capitalize on the current trend of ’90s-inspired footwear, both Scipio and Garnett are thinking beyond the ’90s craze as the label is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Garnett has his eye on a woman’s line, which he says is “long overdue.”
“For the future, we plan to have a womenswear line coming out very soon,” he revealed. “Women have a whole other perspective on this thing we call street ball … That story needs to be told.”
Leggings will be part of the updated apparel Garnett is working on, and he has an eye on adding utility-focused styles to catch up with what other brands sell.
“There’s a real vision that’s going into this — this isn’t just an ex-basketball player coming around and using somebody else’s money,” the former Boston Celtic said. “I actually am a creative guy; I’m super-visual.“
Scipio added that And1 is updating product technology and said improvements will be visible with new styles that hit the market in the spring and summer, adding that embracing social media is also a part of the strategy.
“Coming into a space that’s dominated by Nike, Jordan, Converse, Puma, we’re the underdogs,” he said. “But we’re fighting, and I think we have the ability to create great energy, great product and great experiences.”
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