This week TSG sat down with Jordan Brand’s VP and Category Footwear Leader, Dave Schechter, for an exclusive interview to discuss a very vital topic that Jordan heads have been complaining about for years – Air Jordan Retro quality. It’s no secret – with the exception of the Bin 23 offerings, several energy Retro Jordan footwear (Fear Pack, Bel Air, etc.), and a few releases here and there that Jordan fans have not been pleased with Jordan Brand’s quality on Retro Jordans. Earlier this year TSG caught wind that Jordan Brand would be implementing a better quality initiative starting 2015. Instead of releasing the news prematurely and without details, we expressed our interest to Jordan Brand about getting the official story out to the sneaker world. Well, here’s the news you all have been waiting for, with the story told to us directly from your favorite brand – Jordan Brand.
Who is Dave Schechter and what’s your specific role with Jordan Brand?
Dave Schechter: I’m in charge of all things footwear. I basically lead the footwear team, every pair of Jordans that comes out of the company is my responsibility.
On things changing over the years…
Over the years things change, methods of making products change. Tanneries and leather suppliers close. So, it’s really hard to keep something absolutely the same because things are always changing. The fact is things did change over the years. Tooling gets destroyed so we have to recreate the tooling.
On the conversation with Michael Jordan to improve the quality…
Dave’s been with the brand since April 2013. He told me a story about meeting with Michael Jordan regarding a couple of things, including the quality.
Dave to MJ: One of the things I see and hear a lot about is the quality issue. Where are you on this issue?
MJ: Where are you on it?
Dave: I feel like if there’s an opportunity to do a better job, we should do it.
It’s important to know that MJ is not involved in choosing colorways and day-to-day operation, but Jordan Brand does not make major decisions like changing the quality without consulting with MJ simply because he is the brand.
On speaking with the team after his conversation with MJ…
We would all agree that this is the absolute best we can do? They responded saying, “We can do better.” So we asked one of our factories about a year ago to send us samples of what’s possible. We got a couple of samples back with better quality, and asked the factory how much would this cost and how hard is this to do? They told us it’s not that hard, so we made a decision that we were going to remaster retro footwear.
Continue reading to learn about the better quality initiative…