14 Years Ago Today, Jordan Brand Figured Out The Retro Business Was Going To Flourish

Ray P

Nothing was the same after this drop.

air jordan logo

I remember this experience like it was yesterday. Back before the traditional blog existed, just like many of you, I got my information from Air-Jordans.com. I checked the site one day and my mouth started to water when I saw that not one, but four pairs of Air Jordan 11 lows were dropping on the same day. The release date read April 14, 2001. At the time, we've never seen any release like it.

I was 12 years old back then and my Mom wasn't trying to pay over $80 for sneakers, so I definitely missed out. Retail for each Air Jordan 11 Low in Men's was $115. My Sister was GS size and she pretty much got the best colors without Mom Dukes fussing about money. I did take the early morning trip to Dr. Jays on Fordham rd. with my Sister just for the experience.

Air Jordan 11 Low 2001 releases

The line was ridiculous! This was way before the days of camping, but I mean it was four colorways and it was the patent leather Jordans in New York City. This was one of the first times I saw people walking out of the store with multiple pairs of Jays for themselves.

Now in retrospect, I think this was the exact moment Jordan Brand realized the Retro business was going to really flourish. Outside of maybe the Citrus 11s, all colorways sold out in my area of the Bronx. We're talking about 2001, not this new age where you have consumers and resellers shopping. Back in 2001, reselling wasn't a mainstream thing at all.

Could this have laid the foundation for the Retro formula we see today?

Jordan Brand tried their luck again in 2002 with the Air Jordan 6 Low. Three colorways dropped on April 27th, 2002. You had the Black/Chrome (which will retro in 2015), White/University Blue, and White/Coral. This release didn't do as well because not many people were feeling the low cut of the Air Jordan 6. At least that was the case in my area in New York City.

Fast forward time and Jordan Brand has trained the consumer to purchase Air Jordan retros at a faster and faster rate every year. We're in 2015 and every Saturday we see a new Retro release. For the lack of a better comparison, the formula is on steroids today. Looking back at 2001, it's interesting to reflect on the growth of the monster that is known as the Air Jordan Retro business.

Do you remember the 2001 Air Jordan 11 Low release? Share your experience, thoughts, and feedback down below in the comments section.

*This article was inspired by @bee.knowbles Instagram post*