In 1984, Nike debuted a sneaker that would change the future of sneaker culture, the Air Jordan I made for Chicago Bulls rookie Michael Jordan. The inaugural Air Jordan was designed by Peter Moore and featured Nike Air technology. Despite their incorporation of Chicago Bulls’ colors, the Air Jordan Is contravened the NBA’s “uniformity of uniforms” rule that dictated that the entire team must be similarly clad. Since the Air Jordan I was red and black but lacked white, the third color in the Bulls uniform, the sneakers were considered in violation of the rules and were banned. Even Michael Jordan was a bit unsure of the sneakers colorway, reportedly calling them “devil shoes” when seeing the Black/Red–or bred, as the popular colorway is commonly called–colorway.
However, Jordan began to wear them during official games, and each time he did he was fined $5,000. Jordan’s defiant flouting of the rules combined with his athletic prowess transformed his footwear into icons and fueled fans’ desire for the shoes. However, Nike produced a number of alternate colorways, including a Black/White/Red version that Jordan wore during the 1986 NBA playoffs when he scored a remarkable sixty-three points.