Anna Bediones Styles the AJXI Concord
The Toronto-based creative shares five sneaker-ready looks for “The Grail.”
Words: Anna Bediones
When asked what my favorite Jordan is, my default answer is almost always the Air Jordan XI. It’s not the one I reach for the most, but it’s certainly the silhouette I’m most connected to.
I won’t pretend to remember seeing MJ wearing the Concords in 1995 (or say that I was the most avid basketball watcher at the age of 6). What I do remember is the lasting effect of that moment, when MJ shocked the world with shiny, patent leather sneakers and two words: “I’m back.” It was a story I fell in love with after watching him save the world from talent-stealing aliens. I’ll also never forget when I saw one of my favorite R&B groups wearing them in a music video back in the early 2000s.
All of this came full circle in December 2011 when the Concords re-released. My brother and I lined up at the mall at 3 a.m., and despite having worked at a sneaker retailer throughout high school, the ensuing madness was like nothing I had ever seen. I was the only girl among nearly 100 people and instead of following the crowd, I went to another store on the floor above and found myself first in line.
With the release of the XI Concord in men’s, women’s and youth sizing, I’ve styled some women’s looks that intend to show the versatility of the shoe. This collection of images is an ode to the game of basketball and was photographed at various basketball courts in my city. The looks are fragments of things I like, things that inspire me and things that reference the era when the Concords debuted. Air Jordans have transcended the court to become staples off-court, and the XI can be challenging to wear. Like Mike, I love a good challenge.
My default sneaker outfit is “as cozy as possible.” To maintain a polished look, I opt for technical sweats or track pants (usually a men’s pair) and have them tailored for the perfect fit.
The XI can get tricky, so pant selection matters. I wear trousers a lot, and this wide-leg pair channels the work of one of my favorite womenswear designers, as a way of challenging and balancing femininity. I let my Jordan Dri-FIT tights peek over the waist. I wear this with a handful of necklaces and a T-shirt that I cut myself.
Don’t be fooled by the suit: this isn’t to meet office dress code. The hoodie underneath, with the custom belt, relays the message that this look is intentional. While shooting this, the suit was giving me some serious Draft Day suit vibes. The purple hat gave the gray some life.
I grew up channeling ‘90s R&B stars, and in my opinion, their influence is still felt today. I had these olive pants custom made, along with the crop top, which was originally a training shirt I already owned. I don’t shop a lot, so I like to repurpose my clothing in order to update my wardrobe. When going monochromatic, I try to employ different textures, lengths and layers. If I wasn’t wearing this crop top, I would probably be wearing an XL tee or hoodie.
Mural by @Robotkin
You can do more with jumpsuits than you think, and this is one of my favorites ways to wear them lately. Another way is to leave some of it unbuttoned and let a sports bra peek through. For this look, I tied the jumpsuit at the waist. The top shown is another reworked piece that my friend executed for me. It uses an old Nike running top that I had laying around.