The latest in the saga of culture giant A Ma Maniére’s collaborations with Jordan Brand has finally hit the market. On June 1st A Ma Maniére launched the A Ma Maniére x Jordan 2 and an accompanying apparel collection. This collaboration checks a couple boxes that add to its hype value. First, it is the latest car to be added to the Jordan 2 hype train, releasing right off the heels of the Union x Air Jordan 2. Second, it is the latest in the line of A Ma Maniére’s highly anticipated Jumpman collaborations. Given the success of the previous two pairs, the public has high expectations and eager anticipation for anything the two brands come together to release.

We’re not here to talk about hype, however. If you’ve been in the game for a while, you know that many of the best shoes are designed with a story or message in mind. This should recall some iconic sneakers, such as Nike KD Aunt Pearl, Nike N7, and Nike/Jordan x OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital releases. Of course, a factor that some of these sneakers have in common with the A Ma Maniére Jordan 2 is a degree of hype. Another similarity that many seem to overlook, however, is a message.

We urge you not to just subscribe to hype for this release, but peer a step deeper. Amidst A Ma Maniére’s promotions, we found that this pair is released alongside a message. The theme of the shoe is a simple line, “Your Airness”. While that line might seem to be simply referencing Michael Jordan at face value, A Ma Maniére highlights a poem written by Kyla Lacey equating the theme of the collaboration to themes such as strength, resiliency, Blackness, and pride. All these themes tie into the pillars that A Ma Maniére stands upon and uses its platform to promote. A Ma Maniére released a short film in which the poem is performed via spoken-word alongside powerful imagery of resilient and gifted Black youth and families demonstrating their “Airness”.

This is not new for A Ma Maniére, however. In their previous collaborations with Jordan brand, the brand utilized their opportunities to push other important messages. Their prior collaborative silhouette, the Air Jordan 1, was also predicated on the concept of “Airness”. “Airness”, in the publications for the release, was also explained via a short film which ends with a powerful image of a rose sprouting from a concrete sidewalk (the same imagery that is seen at the beginning of the short film for the Jordan 2 collaboration). This metaphor perfectly defines the meaning of the release, highlighting the strength, resiliency, and beauty that comes alongside Blackness.

A Ma Maniére’s Jordan 3 release spreads a different message – the strife, power, and resiliency of women. Publications for the sneaker released alongside a short film which powerfully highlights the struggles that the women in our lives, notably mothers, face daily that often fall upon deaf ears. The shoe itself even contains hidden messages which, while able to be digested by all, are meant to motivate the women reading them. Inside the back tab of the left shoe is the message, “All we have is each other.” Inside that of the right shoe is the message, “You have to get comfortable walking alone.” Finally, the most imminent detail, the sneaker was made for women. Being released in Women’s sizing, men who wanted the shoe were left to do something they rarely do, figure out what their equivalent Women’s sneaker size is. All of this is in fairness. Women are left to find their equivalent men’s size for nearly every hype sneaker they want.

Using its platform to create an instant classic (with a meaning) once again, A Ma Maniere doesn’t disappoint. Featuring an aged-white cracked leather and hits of deep burgundy, this pair falls right in line with the palette of its sister shoe, the A Ma Maniére Air Jordan 1. The shoe also features a quilted sock liner which not only screams luxury, but also remains consistent with all other pairs in the A Ma Maniére x Jordan Brand timeline. They also come with a unique box encapsulated by the now iconic A Ma Maniére “A” clear box sleeve. A notable difference from past pairs, the A Ma Maniére Jordan 2 features snakeskin detailing, and a lot of it. The entirety of the midsole is wrapped in a black snakeskin print which serves as a nice contrast to the upper of the shoe.

All-in-all, we believe this will go down as yet another iconic collaboration between A Ma Maniére and Jordan Brand, and we hope to see the two brands come together again in the future to provide us with another amazing shoe, and another amazing message.

Artwork by John Jankowski