Air Jordan and Supreme team up to collaborate on sneakers, break the Internet

Sneakerheads rejoice: The wait is finally over. The long-rumored Supreme x Air Jordan V shoe went on sale today. Good luck getting your feet into a pair, though.

Supreme and Air Jordan rank, arguably, among the most-hyped brands on the planet. Photographer/skeez Terry Richardson confirmed the collaboration between the two on his Instagram account last week with a widely circulated image of Michael Jordan himself wearing a Supreme t-shirt emblazoned with the instantly recognizable Air Jordan logo.

An art-punk, skate and hiphop streetwear brand, Supreme has gained massive cultural cache by perfecting the art of the limited release: The brand typically puts out (or, in the lingo, “drops”) a small number of items at a time online in the U.S., U.K. and Japan, helping to create the impression of scarcity. The brand is so successful at generating hype that its acolytes are known as hypebeasts.

And the Air Jordan V is, well, an Air Jordan. This particular model was first introduced in 1990 and reportedly influenced by the design of WWII fighter planes. Air Jordan is such a successful brand that Michael Jordan earned $94 million in sneaker sales alone in 2014 — more than he did in his entire career in the NBA, combined.


And the much-anticipated collaboration between the two is already proving a bit too much for the Internet to handle. Supreme brand director Angelo Baque, hounded by hypebeasts, posted a photo to Instagram recently with the caption: “no Jordans today, b … #stoptexting”

That was then. This is now:

Holy Shit!! GOAT Michael Jordan for @supremenewyork

A photo posted by Terry Richardson (@terryrichardson) on

The new shoe is available online and in the London store today, in Japan on October 17. It will not be sold in New York or L.A. They’re be available in three different designs at a reported $198 a pair — if you can get them, that is. 

The collaboration has received around 8,500 mentions on Twitter in the past two weeks, according to data collected by Brandwatch. Over the course of those two weeks there have been two peaks in mentions: On October 8, the day the release date was confirmed, and today, the day of the release. The sentiment within this conversation is surprisingly negative, with 72 percent of the tweets that expressed some kind of sentiment skewing negative. The negativity stems largely from people’s frustration over the difficulty of snagging a pair of the shoes, as there is no in-store release, according to Brandwatch’s Kellan Terry. (A few tweeters also called the shoes ugly.)

“You almost expect negative mentions to accumulate around popular, exclusive items,” said Terry. “When consumers feel that they won’t be able to purchase a new product, they attempt to justify missing out on that product to themselves. Many tweets reflect this. However, the overwhelming percentage of negative mentions is unique. We don’t regularly see the lopsided, negative sentiment around new releases.”  

For the core, the sneaker FOMO is apparently supreme indeed.

But then, when there are this many losers, there’s bound to be a winner or two:

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