Decoding China’s Dior x Air Jordan Love Affair
How soon can something be called a modern collectible? While the Supreme x Louis Vuitton capsule has proven its staying power since it was released in 2017 — now reselling for up to triple its retail price — Dior x Air Jordan’s story is still being written.
Dropped in 2020, the Dior and Jordan brand tie-up is arguably one of the most hyped sneaker collaborations in recent history. Blending streetwear culture and high fashion, “Air Dior” was first unveiled at the Dior Pre-Fall 2020 Collection in Miami, then teased by rapper Travis Scott and various leak accounts online. With just 13,000 pairs available (and 5,000 of those reserved for VIP clients), anticipation was high.
As such, 5 million people registered for a chance to snag the coveted kicks on a first-come-first-serve basis. In China, a separate online experience was held on WeChat. And when many expectedly left empty-handed, resale prices skyrocketed: in 2020, the Dior x Air Jordan 1 High was the most expensive shoe on the secondary market, hitting as much as $13,000, according to a StockX economist. Although prices later fell to an average of $7,000, that’s still more than three times its original value of $2,200 for the high-top version.
Now, as rumors swirl that Dior and Jordan will join forces again on three new colorways, the next chapter of hype begins. But what exactly makes this pairing so iconic and collectible in China and around the world?
Two titans on the same team
It’s hard to lose with two kings on the court. Besides being one of the most recognizable high-end brands in the world, Dior is also a leader in localization. Since 2015, the 75-year-old French house has tested various digital strategies in China and, in the process, racked up several firsts for luxury: first to promote on WeChat Moments; first to livestream on WeChat; and first to open official accounts on Douyin and Bilibili. It’s no surprise then that Dior was among the top 10 most valuable luxury brands in 2020 and later named Chinese consumers’ second favorite luxury brand in 2021.
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