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Film buffs who happen to be sneakerheads have a new holy grail.
Nike created an extremely rare Air Jordan 1 to celebrate Spike Lee’s presidency of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. The kicks surfaced in online sneakerhead forums Monday on the eve of the festival’s kickoff. Just five pairs of the original sneakers are said to have been made.
Lee has been an official member of the Jordan Brand family since 1988, back when he began appearing as his She’s Gotta Have It character Mars Blackmon opposite Michael Jordan in the now-iconic Spike-and-Mike Air Jordan commercials. Over the years, Nike has created several so-called “Players Exclusives” — custom signature sneakers usually given by Nike to sponsored athletes — for the filmmaker to wear on special occasions.
The latest Cannes pair are designed in a striking white, blue and red suede and leather scheme in deference to the colors of the French flag. The tongue tags are all about Spike, though. The left shoe’s tag shows a vintage shot of Mars Blackmon, but the underside of his hat has been tweaked to read “Cannes” instead of “Brooklyn,” while his shirt says “President Mars.” On the right shoe tag, Lee is pictured in the purple suit he wore to the 2020 Oscars in tribute to late Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The image is surrounded by the French flag, with “Festival De Cannes” and “Jury President” emblazoned in gold.
Keep an eye out during the Cannes opening ceremony Monday night to see whether the famously formal event relaxes its red carpet dress code for the jury head’s footwear. Heads will be turned, necks will be broken. Spike is president.
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