Earlier this year, rumours started circulating about Union LA's plan to release a new collection of collaborative Air Jordan 1s, following the highly sought-after 2018 editions that command exorbitant prices in the resale market and, unsurprisingly, sold out almost instantly.
Many anticipated that the latest sneaker collaboration would continue in the same vein as the previous AJ1s, featuring some inventive colour schemes, mismatched uppers, and contrasting stitch details. However, a sneak peek at the 2023 Union LA x Bephie's Beauty Supply Air Jordan 1 sneaker reveals an exciting and distinctive take on the classic AJ1.

The most prominent and distinguishing characteristic: The Union LA x Bephie's 2023 AJ1s showcase a woven pattern that envelops the upper, running from the toe to the heel. If you're sensing a resemblance to a specific classic Nike shoe, the Nike  Footscape,  your instincts are spot on. The textural upper of the Union LA x Air Jordan 1 unmistakably takes inspiration from Nike's Air Footscape Woven, renowned for its captivating uppers featuring intricately woven suede or leather.

It's worth noting that not only is Nike preparing for the resurgence of the Footscape with the help of collaborators like Sacai, but woven footwear in general is currently enjoying a significant moment. In addition to the striking woven panel that encircles the upper of the shoe, Union's 2023 Air Jordan 1 collaboration appears to incorporate a traditional leather construction with touches of suede on the Swoosh and around the ankle.





This initial colourway of Union's collaborative Jordan shoe arrives in white with hints of grey, green, and yellow for the outlines just a few selects from Union's instantly recognizable palette. Like the 2018 AJ1s, the latest shoe also features vintage details like the deliberately yellowed soles and intentionally exposed stitching.

While Union LA branding appears up top like always, a cursive "BBS" get stitched on the heel, indicating that this is a three-way collab between Union LA, Jordan, and Beth Gibbs' Bephie's Beauty Supply.





You can shop the new Union x AJ1 here at Story.  





Levi Niekerk