Sneaker of the Year

By Paul Olubayo


Aside from being an article of clothing and an essential piece of modern social life and culture. Sneakers and the sneaker world has grown and become so much more. The truly great ones ultimately transcend this industry, they become more than just a ‘thing’ you wear on your feet.

Sneakers stand as contemporary works of art. They capture the essence and the spirit, not just of a designer, brand or figurehead - but of a generation. They stand as time capsules, living artefacts of history which forever remain accessible to the masses.

In December of this long and tumultuous year, we’re scheduled to celebrate one of the greatest sneakers of all time. Incorporating all the history which this specific silhouette holds.

The original Black and White colourway of the Air Jordan 11, presently scheduled for release on December 12th , shall be celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Alongside the Jordan 1’s and 4’s, the 11’s are arguably the true pantheon greats of Jordan Shoes. Ones which have so perfectly transcended the great’s playing days, created a history of their own and gone further than the court.

What we celebrate in December, is not just the success of the shoe, but the timeless aesthetic which Tinker Hatfield went to a different planet to create. We celebrate the history this shoe has created.

We celebrate 72-10, the record which the 1995-1996 Jordan-led Bulls created as they collected their then 5 th championship in style. We celebrate the ultimate amalgamation of sport and popular culture with the unprecedented and sacred union of Jordan and Bugs Bunny in Space Jam, and all that that movie and the Space Jam 11’s have meant to people the world over.

We’ll be celebrating the legend of Allen Iverson and both the Concord and Georgetown 11’s he made famous in college before he had even spent a day in the NBA. We celebrate the array of colourways and Player Exclusives released since 1995 which we have seen frequent, nightclubs, streets, malls, runways and boardrooms alike.

Ultimately, December 12th will be a celebration of timeless art, and timeless fashion. It will be time for us all to appreciate what it truly means to be transcendent. It will be a time for all of us to appreciate the greatness that comes when you favour creating an impact and leaving a legacy above short-term success. We’ll be celebrating the success and longevity you can
achieve when you relentlessly pursue innovation, over going with what’s tried and true.

The Jordan 11 – like the Jordan brand more widely and the GOAT himself – stand as an inspiration to us at Elizé, as well as, creatives and innovators everywhere. The shoe highlights how you can have a global impact while remaining authentic and true to purpose. We at Elizé, like many of you, remain in awe not only of this shoe, by the GOATs story. We were left captivated and inspired by The Last Dance and the relentless pursuit of greatness which MJ put into his craft. That same passion, relentlessness and commitment to excellence, has become the standard that we at Elizé hold ourselves to. We too at Elizé are working to capture the essence and spirit of a generation. We too are hoping to create living time capsules and artefacts of history which stand the test of time and transcend their era.

So, on December 12th, when we, alongside so many of you, will be relentlessly and violently refreshing that SNKRS app, we’ll be doing so not only in celebration of the 25 years of arguably the greatest sneaker of all time. But in fact, in celebration of the drive & passion which we, along with so many of you put into our work. Every single day.