Guo Ailun’s “Morpho” Air Jordan XXXV PE
The Chinese basketball star talks about his latest PE.
The blue morpho butterfly is known for captivating viewers with its wingspan, iridescence and speed. When it flies, it flashes light and color, appearing almost invisible as it moves through the air. Guo Ailun’s new Air Jordan XXXV PE is inspired by the parallels between the guard’s on-court presence and the morpho butterfly’s flight, seen in highlights from playing with the National team, the Chinese Basketball Association and even NBA Summer League appearances. It’s easy to spot the similarities between Guo’s game and the morpho butterfly’s movements, from his effortless go-to spin move to his ankle-breaking crossovers, quick instincts and rapid changes of direction. He’s a threat to score or assist each time he touches the ball.
“As a guard, I always need to rush and stop instantly, so traction is very important. The lightness of the shoes determines how I play on-court.”
Guo’s most crucial, in-game movements are supported by theAir Jordan XXXV, thanks to its visible Zoom Air heel unit, which expands when sprinting or jumping. The shoe maintains the athlete-acclaimed herringbone design, for traction, quick cuts and pivots. Guo’s fearlessness when taking the ball to the hole against larger defenders makes protection a top priority for him. The Eclipse Plate 2.0 offers improved lateral structure and support, so he can drive to the rim with confidence.
“I attack aggressively, and I have strong dribbling ability, so cushioning is important for protecting my feet and preventing injury.”
Since becoming the first Chinese athlete to sign with Jordan Brandin 2017, Guo has received multiple Air Jordan PEs inspired by his career and team colors. For his first AJXXXV PE, Guo and the Jordan Brand design team focused on the blue, translucent wings of morpho butterflies, using the Eclipse Plate 2.0 as a focal point.
“The metamorphosis from caterpillar into butterfly is a gradual process, which is reflected in the color of the shoes. There’s a change in color, which implies a big breakthrough for me. This is a theme that I love very much, and it’s also reflected on the insole, where there is a butterfly wing.”
The concept of evolving gradually is familiar to the 7x CBA All-Star. Now an established veteran, Guo’s career began with big expectations from teams, fans and himself. At just 16 years old, Guo became the youngest player to suit up for the Chinese National Team, for the 2010 FIBA World Championships. Two years later, he was the youngest basketball player at the 2012 Olympic Games. With each history-making chapter, Guo’s commitment to pursuing greatness has taken him to new heights.
“Before the butterfly becomes shining and beautiful, it needs to go through the process of breaking out of the cocoon. We also need to seek change and breakthroughs in order to evolve.”
According to Guo, his remarkable transformation from teenage prodigy to Jordan Brand athlete can be attributed to his relentless work ethic and following his instincts. He chose to share that message with everyone who wears his PE.
“My motto is to follow my heart in everything I do and to obey my inner feelings. My favorite quote is on the back of my XXXV: ‘Where the heart goes, where the body goes.’”
The Air Jordan XXXV “Morpho” releases on December 24th from select retailers. Learn more about the AJXXXV here.