Sneaker of the Year?
When the small, relatively unknown Paris-based sneaker boutique “Maison Château Rouge” announced their collaboration with Nike on an Air Jordan 1 Mid back in 2019, nobody expected the level of success this duo could attain. However, their intricate and colour-creative design of the AJ1 Mid redefined what a Jordan Mid was capable of.
Jordan 1 Mid Maison Château Rouge
With the Jordan 1 Mid being quite a negatively connotated silhouette at the time, this colorway dramatically enhanced the popularity of the shoe, elevating it towards hype level. Not only did resell of the collab skyrocket, other Jordan 1 Mids begun to rise in popularity too. With Jordan 1 Mids now being among the most popular shoes, the boutique actually had a substantial influence on the sneaker world we know today.
Over two years later, the duo is finally back with their next experiment. Can Maison Château Rouge finally achieve what Nike and Jordan Brand have been trying to accomplish the last months?
Can this sneaker make the Jordan 2 popular again?
We provide an early look at one of the most talked-about collabs of the year, one of the rarest sneakers currently available, one of the cleanest shoes I have ever had the privilege to see in my entire life. The unreleased Jordan 2 Maison Château Rouge “United Youth International” – a hands-on review.
Starting off with the box, we have an entirely redesigned version of the beloved Jordan 2 Box. The design still features the large Wings logo in a light beige on a white background, with a stripe design symbolizing the Paris-based boutique. On the sides, a large “United Youth International” is printed, reflecting the name of this specific Silhouette. We are yet to find out what the inspiration behind this name may be, but the “Chicago, Dakar, Paris” hints towards the blend of Jordan’s origin Chicago, and MCR’s store and production location Paris and Dakar, respectively. The overall colour scheme of the box already provides a sneak-peek of the treasure hidden inside.
The shoe itself features a cream leather upper with embossed patterns on the sides. Brogue perforations add intricate details along the toebox and tongue, decorating this sneaker in a luxurious manner. Contrast stitching and details in orange accents across the entire shoe add a pop of colour and make this colourway instantly recognizable. Other details include an MCR-signature Zebra-like stripe pattern on the eyestays, a speckled midsole, and Chateau Mâison Rouge’s logo on the right heel. Lastly, the insole features images of Michael Jordan, along with United Youth International and Chateau Mâison Rouge labeling.
An absolutely gorgeous colourway. Extracting the best design features of the Jordan 2 combined with immaculate colour choices unarguably make this one of the cleanest sneakers of 2022. Already a collector’s piece, already talked about months before release, a definite grail that will shake the sneaker industry as we know it. The biggest step towards reviving the Jordan 2, executed perfectly.
The Jordan 2 is reaching its 35th anniversary this year (yes, 1987 was 35 years ago!). Obviously, sneaker construction and design processes were less sophisticated back then, so comfort levels of the Jordan 2 in general are not incredible. Nevertheless, the sneaker was designed for basketball, so there is great support and sturdiness.
Moreover, Nike and Jordan Brand have evidently changed their manufacturing process since ’87, putting more emphasis on comfort and quality than ever before (at least they claim this). When comparing newer Jordan 2’s to the OG versions, you certainly notice a crazy improvement in comfort and quality, so rest assured this sneaker won’t hurt your feet. It’s not a Foam RNNR, but it’ll definitely keep you comfy during long shopping sprees or flexes on the red carpet.
Quality-wise, this sneaker is top-notch. One of the key reasons for success of the MCR Air Jordan 1 Mid (2019) was the extreme focus on quality and material choice, and the duo took the same approach this time. The leather on the upper is absolutely immaculate, insane quality, perfect stitching, no glue marks visible (sad that this is even a criterion, thanks Dunk Low), consistent details, a 10/10 in terms of quality. I personally own a Jordan 2 from 2017, and even after months of wearing it extensively, it would probably still pass the StockX Deadstock test.
With an even stronger focus on quality on this collaboration, we can expect that this sneaker is not going to wear-and-tear anytime soon (given that you don’t skate in it).
With an expected release date in June 2022, we can expect this Jordan 2 to dominate social media throughout summer. Expect crazy fitpics, celebrity endorsements, influencer posts, and more. It’s one of the most beautiful Jordan 2’s to ever see the light of day, and we can all be truly blessed for the design capabilities of French boutique Chateau Mâison Rouge. A 10/10, an absolute W for Jordan Brand and the Paris-based store.
by Freddy Schwoerer of Drip Drops