Jordan Brand Teams Up With High School Students to Create an Air Jordan 1 Inspired by NYC Subways

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Jordan Brand will soon release a limited-edition, student-designed Air Jordan 1 inspired by the staff of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

The Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” is a creation of the Wings is the Design Program, which pairs Jordan Brand designers with students to encourage their creative passions and ambitions. The Wings is the Design Program is one of four key global investments of Jordan Brand Wings, the education-focused initiative that Jordan Brand launched in 2015.

Jordan Brand said in a statement that the Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” is inspired by “the unsung heroes of NYC: the staff of the MTA, the largest public transit system in North America,” and described the shoe as “a thank-you to the MTA crews who tirelessly help New Yorkers reach their destination.”

The shoe features inspirational phrases that Jordan brand stated recognize the MTA employees for their service. They phrases include “Always Go Forward” on the toe, that honors “the mindset of the crews who move NYC along, even through difficult times,” as well as “Thank You For All You Do” on the back of the tongue. The Air Jordan 1 also includes the transit system branding.

Air Jordan 1 Mid Subway
Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway.”

“I feel so proud thinking about the people who will be wearing and enjoying this shoe,” Oscar Chun, one of the NYC student designers, said in a statement. “Now I know what it must feel like when musicians hear their songs on the radio for the first time.”

More than 130 high school students from Jordan Brand Wings partner organizations in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia and more worked with the Jordan Brand product-creation for six weeks. The task was to design an Air Jordan 1 using the theme of “role models.” Students from each city, according to Jordan Brand, pitched their final designs to a panel of its employees, who selected one final design to go into production.

The Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” arrives May 15 in grade school, preschool and toddler sizes via, as well as at Nike House of Innovation NYC and Nike SoHo.

Air Jordan 1 Mid Subway
The Air Jordan 1 Mid “Subway” on foot.

About the Author

Peter Verry is the Senior News and Features Editor for Athletic and Outdoor at Footwear News. He oversees coverage of the two fast-paced and ultracompetitive markets, which includes conducting in-depth interviews with industry leaders and writing stories on sneakers and outdoor shoes. He is a lifelong sneaker addict (and shares his newest purchases via @peterverry on Instagram) and spends most of his free time on a trail. He holds an M.A. in journalism from Hofstra University and can be reached at

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