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The Air Jordan 1 'Lost & Found' Is a Time Capsule from 1985

This retro reproduction of the Air Jordan 1 Chicago is designed to look like they were left behind — inventory left over from a closed sporting goods store.


Long ago, before sneaker blogs and Instagram influencers, you could actually buy the sneakers you liked. In the '80s, if you saw a pair you liked, even if there was a line, you'd probably get them. This was before websites, when mom and pop sporting good stores were the only places you could buy basketball sneakers; when you had to ask a clerk if they had any left in your size; when the transaction happened in real-time, and you could try pairs on. That's just how it was.

The Jordan brand didn't fully take off until 1985, when the Air Jordan 1 dropped in its inaugural colorway, 'Chicago,' for $65. Nike wants to conjure this period with the all-new Air Jordan 1 Chicago 'Lost & Found,' what Jordan designers think "an original 1985 Air Jordan 1 would look like if found decades later in a dusty stock room."

Sandy Bros. Sports Depot isn’t a real store, but it sure sounds like one.

"The shoe harkens back to a time when shoe boxes were often lost in inventory stockrooms, only to be found again years later," the team explains. "Before the advent of sophisticated inventory systems, products were typically tracked with pen and paper. Human error was inevitable and frequently resulted in shoe boxes with mismatched lids."

The sneakers wouldn't earn scuffs by simply sitting in a box. Instead, the outsoles would yellow, the leather would crack and the foam inside the tongue would change colors, transitioning from crisp white to peach. To make these new pairs look old, Jordan designers made the collar look weathered, constructed the upper using premium leather with a cracked pattern and dyed the outsole light yellow. But they also made the box period correct.

Did you know that people sell vintage Nike boxes?

The box is bent in at the edges, scuffed across the top and sort of sun-dyed. Plus, the lid doesn't match the box itself, implying it lost its match along the way. Inside, the paper conjures newspaper ads and catalog spreads, while a receipt recalls a time before Apple Pay and email invoices, back when you had to buy things in person, from a cashier.

For the 'Lost & Found' campaign, Nike mocked up a hand-written receipt from a fictional shop called Sandy Bros. Sports Depot in Covington, Kentucky. They hope, even if you've never known a world without shoppable websites, these small details serve as a "time travel moment."

Air Jordan 1 Chicago 'Lost & Found': Restock

The Air Jordan 1 'Lost & Found' first dropped on November 19th, 2022, but Nike recently hinted at a restock. Expect the second wave sometime in late April or early May 2023.


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