Jordan Brand worked with some of the most talented names in the industry throughout 2021 to deliver several coveted collabs.
Included in the best of this year was the Air Jordan 3 that was reimagined by A Ma Maniére, which earned the FNAA 2021 Collaboration of the Year award. Aside from A Ma Maniére, the label worked with countless other designers, retailers and musicians such as Aleali May, Billie Eilish and others.
Below, renowned collectors discuss their favorite Jordan collaborations of the year.
A Ma Maniére Air Jordan 3 “Raised by Women”
“I think my Jordan collab of the year is going to align with most people’s feelings. What James did with the A Ma Maniere 3 is nothing less of a masterpiece. His ability to make releases with a purpose and connection is almost unparalleled. I love that he made sure the initial release went to women strictly as the shoe is a nod to the amazing women in his life. On top of that when you look at the execution of the shoe from you realize how special this shoe is. It may be a hot take, but I feel like when we look back and things settle. These will be looked at as one of the best 3s of all time.” — Ricky Shoebio
A Ma Maniére Air Jordan 1 High “Airness”
“It’s no secret James Whitner had a banner year, but none of his projects were as direct and polarizing as the AMM AJ1. Unlike the other sneakers whose messages seemed more universally translatable, the AJ1 pierced the taboo of gentrification as it relates to Black culture. Though simple on the surface, the beauty in this shoe lied beneath the surface, from the MJ quotes to the quilted lining. The power visuals were a beautiful bow to wrap this gift, depicting the theft of a culture that’s been resold back to the ones that created it.” — David “Kari” Daniels
Aleali May Air Jordan 1 Zoom Comfort “Califia” and Air Jordan 14 Low “Fortune”
“Being fortunate enough to own both collaborations by Aleali and Jordan Brand this year, I can argue this tandem qualifies as best Jordan collaboration for 2021. Another layer of what shaped Aleali into the icon she is today was pulled back, taking us to her middle school days of inspiration, with the Jordan 1 Zoom CMFT ‘Califia.’ Let’s not forget it was accompanied with the first-ever full apparel capsule as well for a women’s Jordan collaboration. Follow that up with her deeply rooted Black and Filipina cultural traditions passed down from both her grandmothers, illustrated with a classy taupe, jade and gold Jordan 14 Low — again with an apparel capsule — Aleali sets a high bar for intentional storytelling that connects with women in sneakers.” — T.J. Keasal
Off-White Air Jordan 2 Low
“The Virgil 2s from JB weren’t on my list until I cried a little looking at pics of him as a kid in Chicago dressed in head-to-toe Air Jordan. Those pictures reminded me why I wear Jordan’s now, and it made me think about excited he must’ve been to work on every one of those Jays. That is storytelling.” — Robbie Falchi
Billie Eilish Air Jordan 15
“I think it’s important that brands recognize the diversity of thought amongst women, and Billie is a great style hero for that girl who bends genres and doesn’t necessarily sit in a box.” — Jazerai Allen-Lord
Billie Eilish Air Jordan 1 KO
“Now when I think of sneakerheads, Billie Eilish isn’t really the first name that comes to mind, respectfully, but nowadays we’re seeing more artists get clothing and sneaker collabs on the regular. With all that being said, her AJKO was cold and I’m upset I missed out. The silhouette came fully dressed in ‘Ghost Green,’ which we’ve seen her dye her hair over the years. Also, it’s pretty cool she went the sustainable route with these going 100% vegan and 20% recycled materials.” — Henry Francois