Last week, Spike Lee’s famous “40 Acres and A Mule” international headquarters was turned into a living, breathing time machine for a crowd of about 100 sneaker enthusiasts, members of the press, celebrities, and influencers for Jordan Brand’s special invite-only release of the new Jordan Fly ’89.
Upon entry, event-goers were transported back to Brooklyn circa 1989, as they entered a recreation of Lee’s infamous character Mookie’s room in his 1989 cult classic, Do The Right Thing. The movie became a staple in both pop culture and sneaker culture, thanks to that iconic scene where Buggin’ Out (played by Giancarlo Esposito) loses it when his brand new Jordan IVs get scuffed up by a careless neighbor.
A special edition of the shoe was released to commemorate the occasion, lace-locks, scuff and all.
Genius’ own Rob Markman moderated the night, while attendees like pro BMX rider Nigel Sylvester, DJ Clark Kent, and Atlanta Hawks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. checked out the exhibit. Spike Lee spoke about the inspiration of the Fly ’89, shared some history about the Jordan IV’s placement in Do The Right Thing, and how Public Enemy’s iconic song “Fight The Power” ended up appearing in the film. Lee also provided candid thoughts on how Brooklyn’s gentrification issues seen in Do The Right Thing are still relevant in his beloved borough in 2017.
The thing about gentrification that gets missed is that people rarely talk about where do you go if you got misplaced? -Spike Lee
“My parents bought our brownstone in 1968 for $45,000,” he said. “You can’t buy no brownstone nowhere for $45,000. Back then in real estate, they wouldn’t even say, ‘Fort Greene.’ They’d say, ‘Downtown Vicinity.’ Fort Greene was predominantly African-American and Puerto Rican. You walk around today, it’s gentrified Fort Greene.”
Lee would go on to say that the crippling effects of gentrification is the result of overambitious real estate agents looking to capitalize on “new” land. “So when you move into a neighborhood, be humble. We were here before you. You can’t just come in and bogart. Let’s live in peace. Have some respect for the culture that was there before you moved in… Sometimes, people have this Christopher Columbus Syndrome. How you gonna discover people when they’ve been there already?”
Pulling inspiration from the Air Jordan IV which released in 1989, the Jordan Fly ’89 is a new lifestyle shoe by Jordan Brand. With the sole being made of Lunarlon, a new material aiming to be lighter than other models but still giving its weather premium levels of comfort, the shoe has crossover appeal for everyone from the sneaker purist to the cozy boy or girl in all of us.
From NIKE and Jordan Brand’s rollout of the shoe: “Now, 28 years later, parts of the original IV’s DNA inform the Jordan Fly ’89. The new lightweight silhouette merges iconic design elements of the IV — its wing lacing details and heel tab — with a Lunarlon sole. The result is a contemporary combination of style, comfort and history that pays homage to the IV’s legacy.”
If you’re looking to purchase a pair of the Jordan Fly ’89s, the official release is on May 26 at Jordan.com and other retailers.