The centerpiece of Public School’s NYFW presentation on Sunday was a highly conceptual iteration of the Air Jordan 15 – as a knee-high women’s boot.

First released in 1999, the Air Jordan 15 was inspired by aircraft. Sharp angles and an exaggerated tongue make it an instantly recognizable silhouette, rendering its latest incarnation unforgettable on the Chinatown streets for PSNY’s Fashion Week presentation.

Over the course of one year, the Jordan design team worked with PSNY on the concept, creating more than 10 different prototypes before arriving at a finished solution. Below, we quizzed the team about the making of what was perhaps the most conceptual adaptation of a sneaker Jordan Brand has produced to date.


MATERIALS: Tumbled leather upper, synthetic lining
DETAILS: PSNY logo details on the heel and tongue. “XV” Stitch detail on Zipper Pull tab. ‘We Need Leaders’ sock liner graphic.

What was the brief for the boot?

[Jordan Design]: The brief was to adapt the Air Jordan 15 and make it feminine, but also powerful. It needed to have a tremendous presence.

PSNY wanted to make it tall and exaggerate it as much as possible off the knee, so it was quite dramatic.

What was the main challenge?

With every revision of the samples, we would add three inches. It got so tall we couldn’t tell proportions on the computer. We had to print it out on a large sheet of paper and then hand draw it.


Tell us about some of the other concepts you experimented with.

We tried a lot of different things. We tried to make it one piece. We also tried a version which was one piece of leather from the toe all the way up, blending the lines of sneaker and boot.

We landed on making it a shoe that connected with a leather sleeve, extending it to a boot.

What about the text on the back of the boot?

We recreated the PSNY logo in a font similar to the original numerical typeface on the back of the AJ 15. We manipulated those numbers into letters that could be used for the shoe.

What does it feel like, trying to adapt one of Tinker’s [Hatfield] designs?

Oh man. It feels like a big honor and responsibility, because you want to do the shoe justice.