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The History of the Air Jordan 7

Air Jordan 7 OG 'Hare'
Air Jordan 7 OG 'Cardinal'
Air Jordan 7 Retro 'Doernbecher' Sample
Air Jordan 7 Retro 'For The Love Of The Game'
Air Jordan 7 Retro 'DMP'
Air Jordan 7 Retro 'J2K'

When the Air Jordan VII was released, the franchise was bulletproof. The Air Jordan line was already a juggernaut in 1992. By 1992, Michael Jordan had won his first NBA championship, and he was quickly becoming the GOAT of basketball. The 7 was on the feet of the GOAT during some of his biggest career highlights.


Tinker Hatfield looked to anything and everything for inspiration when it came to his designs for Nike and Jordan Brand. The Air Jordan 7 took inspiration from African tribal artwork. African art inspiration was present on the upper of the shoe, the multicolored tongue print, and the design of the outsole.


The Air Jordan VII gave Michael Jordan a new ad partner, move over Spike Lee, Bugs Bunny was brought in for the brand as an endorser. The ad campaign was one of the most unforgettable ones for Jordan. The mixing of live action and animation was ambitious for a television commercial in 1992. In 2015 an Air Jordan Retro “Hare” was released. The shoe paid tribute to the beloved 90s ad campaign and the animated pitch rabbit, Bugs Bunny.

hare jordan 7


In 1992 there were five colorways of the Air Jordan VII released. Since then, the 7 has received a lot of retro reissues, which is of course standard now for the brand. Jordan laced up the 7 in the 1992 NBA Finals. The legendary series had Jordan’s Chicago Bulls facing off against Clyde Drexler’s Portland Trailblazers. MJ wore the shoe in Game 1 of the 1992 Finals, that game is known for Jordan’s iconic shrug as he hit six three point shots in the first half of a win for the Bulls. He would also wear the 7 at the Barcelona Olympics for the Dream Team. Jordan won his second championship ring, and second Olympic gold medal, in the VII. Some of Jordan’s most memorable moments happened while he was wearing the Air Jordan 7.

The Birth Of Jordan Brand

In 1997, Jordan Brand and Nike decided to let the Air Jordan line operate 100% independently. It was a bold decision that showed the strong belief Nike had in the brand. The decision was probably heavily influenced by the fact that at the time it was widely believed that the ‘97-98 basketball season would be Michael Jordan’s last. Nike had to do something gigantic to let it be known to the consumer that the Jumpman logo wasn’t going away and that it was here to stay.

Longtime Survival

Jordan Brand was more than accepting and understanding of the fact that it was built on the back of the most beloved athlete in history. To survive separately from Nike, they would need talent from the sports world to endorse their company’s products.

The first group of athletes to join Jordan Brand included basketball stars Vin Baker, Eddie Jones, Derek Anderson, Michael Finley and Ray Allen. At the time all of those players were young stars with bright futures ahead of them in the NBA. They all had a strong competitive nature and skills sets that were electrifying to watch. The youthful group also personified elegance—on and off the court. That collection of players, known as the “Class of 1997,” were the embodiment of what the Air Jordan name stood for.

- Adam C. Better