It’s no secret that the 90’s are back with a vengeance. So every time a pair of 90’s-inspired customs pop up, it's great to explore the history of that inspiration. We saw these insane Air Jordan VII’s that customizer Future Kicks did, and we took a trip down memory lane.
The ‘after’ picture on the right is the original design that Future Kicks came up with. The ‘before’ sneakers on the left are a retro of the infamous Hare VII’s, which are one of the holy grails of OG Jordans.
In 1992 alone, Michael Jordan won a gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics, won a championship ring and MVP title in the NBA Playoffs, and starred in a series of commercials with the iconic Loony Tunes character Bugs Bunny. The original Air Jordan 7 was released in 1992 at the height of Jumpman-mania, and by 1990’s logic, pairing the MJ with a cartoon rabbit made perfect sense.
Coinciding with the release of the Air Jordan VII was Nike’s partnership with Warner Bros, which graced the world with a round of advertisements that pitted the Air Jordan and the Hare Jordan against each other on the court. As you might know, this was the predecessor to the cinematic gold that would be unleashed 6 years later...
The VII originally dropped in 5 different colorways, including one Olympic-themed scheme for the Barcelona games, but the white and red colorway known as the “Hare” became the defining colorway for this shoe. While Jordan wore the black and graphite VII’s, better known as the ‘Bordeaux’s’ because of the wine colored accents, MJ’s opponent wore the white and red accented sneakers, which became known as the ‘Hare’s.’
It’s no doubt that the Jordan VII’s have come to one of the most sought after sneakers in Air Jordan history, but if you take a step back, they really don’t get any more 90’s than this. The silhouette on the VII’s is iconic, but the colorway is pretty spot on to the aesthetic of the era. You had bright colors thrown into a loose pattern, which looked like something you might find on an oversized, all-over tee-shirt as was the style.
But sneaker lore actually points the iconic VII pattern not to the 90’s fad, but something far more interesting. As the legend goes, renowned Nike designer Tinker Hatfield came across a West African pattern that inspired the bold colors and asymmetrical layers used on the VII’s tongue and insole accents, which nowadays, are synonymous with the VII. Consequently, fashion of the early 1990’s was defined by patterns. You wouldn’t have to go far to see a pattern vector, or the repeating images and color schemes that make up a design, on everything from shirts to pants. So while the VII’s pattern may have found inspiration from an Afrobeat poster, the overall look meshed into 90’s aesthetic perfectly.
Nowadays, the Hare pattern finds itself on more than just retro’d VII’s. Sneaker customizers have been paying homage to this historic slice of pop culture. Not too long ago, Angelus Direct-sponsored custom sneaker artist Dank put his spin on Air Jordan VI’s.
And these ‘Hare’ Jordan 1’s were done by David Z Customs.
Lastly, these VII’s by the Sneaker Fairy took the ‘Hare’ color scheme and ran with it.
So if you're inspired by the 90's vibes and want to create your own pair of custom Air Jordan VII's or 'Hare'-inspired, pick up some bottle of our acrylic leather paints. Be sure to tag #angelusdirect so we can see what you came up with.