Back in 2014, rapper Drake was spotted for the first time wearing a white and gold colorway of the Air Jordan XII. The shoe was widely talked about, and after pictures confirmed that the sneaker was a collaboration with Drake’s clothing brand, October’s Very Own, fans speculating that a public release was imminent. No release date was announced, though, and the two brands allowed hype and anxiety to build for more than two years.
The “White OVO” Jordan XII finally has a release date: Saturday, October 1. According to the official site, a limited number of pairs will be available for purchase online and at OVO stores in Canada. In addition to the shoe, the two brands will also release a collaboratively designed apparel collection to accompany the drop, which will also be available online and in-store.
The sneaker itself is thematically identical to other Jordan x OVO releases. Pebbled leather in white and cream make up the majority of the upper, while sparse gold accents lend a reserved dose of luxury. The ever-present jumpman logo appears on the tongue while OVO branding is restricted to the bottom of the shoe, visible through the translucent sole.
Drake’s continued partnership with Jordan Brand is a smart publicity move for both parties. Drake has quickly become the face of the Air Jordan X, a sneaker that was largely forgotten in the early 2010s because of increasing popularity of other Jordan models. The OVO collaborations that released in the past two years revived interest in the X and are now some of the most sought-after iterations of the shoe. Not only does the partnership affect Drake’s image, but it also generates hype around his brand, which sells streetwear basics like hats and hoodies as well as extravagantly priced outerwear in its signature colors, black and gold.
Simultaneously, Jordan Brand’s image benefits immensely. Though the label is, without a doubt, iconic, it has somewhat struggled in some ways to adapt to changing sneaker culture. While other brands have shifted from pursuing athlete endorsements to seeking out musicians and other influencers more relevant to millennials, Jordan was unable to find a single, huge and high-profile name to stand behind before their partnership with Drake. The Canadian rapper fits the bill perfectly—not only has he topped the charts consistently for the past few years, but his status as a fashion icon is unquestionable. Many of his outfits, like those from his “Hotline Bling” music video, have become instantly recognizable, and his more recent subtle, monochromatic styles have been emulated by many.
So far, the two companies have been marketing their collaborations intelligently. Forcing sneaker enthusiasts to wait years for a release is a surefire way to increase the appeal of an already appealing design, and limiting availability ensures that the provided inventory will fly off shelves. Fortunately for fans, Drake has become a fixture at Jordan, and his next release will almost certainly be met with as much excitement as this one was.
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