Jordan Brand and Artist Nina Chanel Abney Bring Art to Basketball

Jordan Brand and Artist Nina Chanel Abney Bring Art to Basketball

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Jordan Brand and Artist Nina Chanel Abney Bring Art to Basketball

The new collection celebrates family, inclusivity, and Black excellence with ready-to-wear pieces fit for on the court and in the gallery.

The new collection celebrates family, inclusivity, and Black excellence with ready-to-wear pieces fit for on the court and in the gallery.

Text: Stevie Rowley

Jordan Brand looks to artist Nina Chanel Abney to bring contemporary art to the world of basketball for a new collection. Having grown up in Chicago, Chanel Abney has a profound love for the sport. From collecting basketball cards to witnessing Michael Jordan and the Bulls win championships, Chanel Abney brings her childhood connection to basketball full circle.

Chanel Abney brings her love of basketball from the courts to clothing for her capsule collection. She’s revived a series of old basketball courts in New York and North Carolina and is now using her talents to create clothing that shows a love for the community. Creating eleven genderless pieces, Chanel Abney shows how art and creativity fit into the realm of basketball. Using the new capsule collection as her canvas, she aims to comment on themes of community, queerness, and Black excellence.

“No one understands the power, relevance, and reach of basketball culture more than Nina Chanel Abney, as she is a living embodiment of its legacy. This collaboration is as much about the design of an idea as it is about the product,” said Andrea Perez, Jordan Brand Women’s GM.

Key moments from Jordan’s career, such as his first championship with the Bulls, are seen within the collection’s graphics. This collection of milestones shows Jordan’s drive to be the best and his impact on Black history and culture. To fully bring the collection full circle, Chanel Abney and Jordan Brand create a new silhouette of the Jordan 2. Coming in both high and low styles, the new shoe is the perfect intersection of both parties.

“When the AJ2 came out in 86/87, it was ahead of its time – to create a basketball shoe that is also luxurious and made with the highest level of craft. The shoe was an intersection of different things — similar to Nina and her background. This collaboration was a rare occurrence of combining the different worlds of Nina and the Jordan Brand to create something refreshing and new,” said Air Jordan 2 x Nina Chanel Abney shoe designer, JP Managa.

For the campaign imagery, photographer Shaniqwa Jarvis captures Chanel Abney’s goal to create a different future. As a black and queer artist, Chanel Abney uses her art to create a safe space for all. In the campaign images, Chanel Abney poses with her chosen family to showcase the collection. Khari Ricks, JiaJia Fei, Soull Ogun, and Jannah Handy become part of the Jumpman family, and show what it means to be boundless and aspirational.

Jordan Brand and Chanel Abney will continue their partnership at the WNBA All-Star weekend. Chanel Abney will host a workshop and mural painting event with Little Black Pearl, a Chicago-based non-profit and cultural art center.

The Chanel Abney x Jordan Brand collection is available now on the SNKRS app and at select global retailers.

Credits: Images Courtesy of Shaniqwa Jarvis

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