NBA All-Star Weekend finally returns to Chicago Feb. 14-16 for the first time in 32 years and brands are dropping special edition kicks, jerseys and an array of streetwear throughout the week leading up to the big event.
Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse have dominated the lineup with over 60 items created for All-Star 2020, including 40 pieces that pay homage to Chicago in some way.
Many are coveted, special edition collaborations - some from under-the-radar streetwear designers, and some from design superstars like Off-White and Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh - that celebrate Chicago by incorporating symbols and references throughout the designs.
The running theme in the collections is unity, as many of the pieces take inspiration from the city's unifying mode of transportation, the eight color-coded "L" lines. Other designs reference Chicago and the Bulls' '90s dynasty through color and incorporating elements from iconic shoes.
"When gathering insights from people in Chicago, the constant theme we discovered was how not only basketball brings the city together, but also how the transit line system unites the city in a physical sense. The Jordan Chicago Collaborators' Collection for NBA All-Star 2020 serves as a canvas for the Chicago creative community to represent their neighborhoods through footwear and apparel." said Israel Mateo, Jordan Brand's Footwear Energy Designer.
Here are our top 10 All-Star weekend pieces from the Swoosh in descending order.
Air Jordan 10 Wings
The Wings collaboration was created with four students from Chicago's Wings Design Program: James Jackson of Link Unlimited Scholars, Muhammad Holmes of Little Black Pearl Design Academy, German Carvajal of Enlace and Arial Grier of Embarc. The high schoolers' sneaker design resulted in a shoe that's inspired by Chicago's grit and architecture, with all of Chicago's eight transit line colors featured to represent kids from all sides of the city.
Sheila Rashid Air Jordan I Mid Se UC
Chicago designer Sheila Rashid put herself on the fashion map in 2016 with a pair of drop-crotch overalls for Chance the Rapper. Since then, she's expanded her eponymous gender-fluid clothing line into a full collection. For All-Star 2020, Radshid used the Purple line as inspiration to create the graphic, color-blocked kicks, in soft tumbled purple leather on the toe area and gray suede covering the rear, complete with her signature on the tongue.