• Kalia Richardson

Air Dior Puts Streetwear On The Couture Map

Air Jordans have always been a staple. A merger with a French luxe doesn't hurt.

(@complexsneakers / Instagram)

Imagine taking a pair of Air Jordan 1s and dousing it in Christian Dior monograms. Not only will this hike up the price of the sneaker, but it also welcomes a fashion evolution where streetwear meets haute couture.


On Wednesday, July 8 this became a reality as the anticipated Air Dior sneakers released in select stores across the globe. The line, initially put on hold due to COVID-19, merges the Air Jordan classic silhouette with Christian Dior detailing. You can currently find the high and low-top sneaker selling from $2,000 to $2,200 a pop, on an exclusive capsule website


Along with the high-commodity sneaker, Dior Men also showcases an exclusive collection of bucket hats, bomber jackets and silk scarves coated in the Air Dior logo. 


While the hybrid sneaker attracts sneakerheads and fashion gurus alike, only 8,000 were made. Five million people registered for first dibs but only 5,000 of Dior's top clients were emailed invitations to buy a pair. These absurd numbers do not add up, but it’s clear the sneaker has a massive demand. 


As the most expensive Air Jordan’s ever created, the collaboration hints that streetwear may have a place in household ateliers.



Just last month, Givenchy announced Matthew Williams as its new creative director. (Dare I mention that Williams is the self-made streetwear designer behind Alyx and a friend of Dior Men’s creative director, Kim Jones. No coincidence there.) Williams has also dressed the likes of Lady Gaga, worked with Yeezy and co-founded Been Trill. 


Virgil Abloh, DJ and pioneer behind Off-White, revolutionized streetwear by applying it at a luxury level as the artistic director for Louis Vuitton. It feels almost that Dior, Givenchy and LV have all acquired the same thirst for change. As the streetwear community slowly treks up the path to high fashion, its success is a result of the authentic nature of each creator.


Streetwear doesn’t abide by any rules; It’s a form of self-expression that contorts what modern-day clothing restricts.

According to Jerry Lorenzo, founder and designer of Fear of God, streetwear is “pure.”


“We’re not on the fashion calendar,” he said in an interview with Complex. “And our product is 100% a reflection of our perspective and capabilities. The collection comes out when it’s ready.”


The imperfections and usefulness of streetwear are what draw its authentic feel. Streetwear initially established in water-front skate parks and concrete playgrounds. Now, it can be seen on the catwalks of New York and Miami. 


Dapper Dan, the grandfather of logomania, grew up in Harlem feeding the desire for GUCCI and Louis Vuitton in Black communities. Just as hip-hop pulled from the disco beats of the Bronx, streetwear pulled at the loose threads of the fashion industry and recreated a lifestyle.


“Streetwear is about culture. It's not about clothing,” said streetwear designer  Bobby Hundreds to Complex.   


This genre of clothing is identifiable by any naked eye because of its unique ability to communicate a culture. Air Jordans have always been a streetwear staple, distinguishable on and off the court. It doesn't hurt to merge the sneaker giant with French luxe. 





Kalia Richardson is an Editorial Assistant for Rowdy Magazine and a rising junior journalism major at the University of Florida. Kalia enjoys post-workout dance parties, checking on her virtual Sim family and daily phone calls with her mommy. It’s common to find her writing stories anywhere but a traditional desk and spending hours on end reading fashion news at 3 a.m. You can reach her atkaliarichardson15@gmail.com