Michael Jordan might spend more time on a golf course than a basketball court these days, but that doesn’t mean Jordan Brand has any plans to stop adding to 23’s legendary signature shoe line. With the help of 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, Nike recently unveiled the newest version of its halo shoe, the Air Jordan XXXII. The XXXII launches on September 23 in the eye-catching hue Rosso Corsa. Sound familiar?
Rosso Corsa, of course, is one of the most famous colors in the automotive landscape. In Italian, it literally translates to “racing red,” the designated color of Italian racing cars. The color’s most famous purveyor, though, is Ferrari, which still uses the exact color name for its current cars (Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Abarth, and Lancia have all been known for it in the past).
In the same way that the Jordan XXXI’s modern design is inspired by the original Air Jordan sneaker, the Jordan XXXII modernizes the look of the Jordan II, and the launch color choice is no coincidence. The Italian heritage goes back more than three decades, to when the II was released in 1986. After the booming reception of the Jordan I, the story goes, Michael Jordan wanted a shoe that worked well on-court but also looked great off-court. Seeking inspiration, Nike designer Peter Moore took to the stylish streets of Italy, where the shoe was eventually produced.
This is also not the first time a Jordan sneaker has taken inspiration from vehicles. The Tinker Hatfield–designed Air Jordan XIV of 1998 is said to have been inspired by the Ferrari F335 and 550M; elements of the same designer’s Air Jordan VI, back in 1991, were supposedly inspired by Porsches; the Wilson Smith–designed XVII of 2002 was inspired by Aston Martins; the XX, from Hatfield and Smith in 2002, took inspiration from motorcycle tires; and Hatfield’s 1989 Jordan IV Motorsport was created specifically for the Jordan Motorsports motorcycle-racing team.
The Jordan XXXII in Rosso Corsa is priced at $185, typical for a new pair of Air Jordans these days and only $85 more than the II when it originally launched. Good luck getting a pair, though. They’ll be gone quicker than a Ferrari Portofino off the line.