It’s not that basketball was alien to Europe prior to 1992. In club and international competition the former the likes of Yugoslavia, former Soviet Union, Greece, Spain and Italy boasted some of the best non-NBA teams in the world. In fact, heading into the 1992 games, the former USSR were the reigning gold medalists, while Yugoslavia were the most recent FIBA World Championship winners. It’s just that the performance of the Dream Team at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona was another order of magnitude, the kind of cultural phenomenon that had kids in places like Amsterdam, Bern, Innsbruck and Split buying Chicago Bulls jackets and basketball sneakers.
For the Jordan brand’s first collaborative project with a Europe-based partner, the pioneering, Dutch retailer and label Patta, the Jordan VII, the 1992 Jordan signature model worn during the Olympic basketball tournament, is a natural jumping off point.
The Jordan VII’s groundbreaking design took inspiration from another Tinker Hatfield effort, the Huarache. A lightweight, die cut upper was built around a neoprene, inner bootie, with signature visual features of previous Jordan models, visible Air units, lace locks, Nike branding, were dispensed with entirely. The Jordan VII took advantage of this newly created space with a motif influenced by West African tribal designs, in the form of the upper’s geometric lines, and multicolored outsole and tongue designs.
Patta’s vision of the Jordan VII serves as a living tribute to the design aesthetic of the early 90s, with a palette of cream and dark brown tones providing an elegant, neutral base for Patta text at the midsole and the bold red of the inner bootie, tongue and outsole to play off of.
Inspired by a promotional clip in which Jordan, wearing the VII, walks by an outsized billboard featuring his own likeness, the tribal motif features prominently in the collection’s apparel. A t-shirt, shorts and bucket hat feature an all-over print, while a tracksuit interprets the tribal pattern as an oversized, geometric design.
x Patta NRG JUMPMAN SHORT - $70
x Patta NRG JUMPMAN S/S TEE - $50
x Patta JORDAN JUMPMAN BUCKET - $40