A Closer Look at the Trophy Room Air Jordan 7

October 11, 2022 by Joey Birch

A Closer Look at the Trophy Room Air Jordan 7

Marcus Jordan’s ‘Trophy Room’ returns with their next Air Jordan collaboration, but has the dust settled completely from their previous release? 

Opening its doors in 2016, Trophy Room aimed to replicate the feeling of the trophy room in the Jordan household. Founded by Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus, the store began as a location that sold exclusively Jordan Brand sneakers and clothing in addition to showcasing authentic MJ memorabilia “that will serve as trophies to its loyal & dedicated consumers” as the website reads.

To celebrate the opening of his first store, Marcus received his first official Jordan Brand collaboration to be released to the public, with a variety of other models being made for display purposes in-store. The project saw a Trophy Room Air Jordan 23 in which two colourways were released both in limited quantities. The first colourway, a predominantly black pair with gold detailing and a silver M across the upper in addition to “Heir Jordan” punctured into the tongue was an online exclusive release with 5,000 pairs being made which was followed by a white variant of which only 523 pairs were produced, each numbered with the date of the stores opening. 

Later the same year, Marcus Jordan called in DJ Khaled to debut the boutique's second collaboration - the Air Jordan 16 ‘Royal Blue’. As the name suggests, the pair featured an entirely Royal Blue upper in premium tumbled leather with a patent leather toebox. 

After a collaboration on the Air Jordan 17 in 2017, it wasn’t until 2019 that Trophy Room collaborated on a sneaker that caught the attention of the masses with a more widely appreciated pair - the Air Jordan 5. 

In the same year that Marcus Jordan closed the first Trophy Room store in a move to make the it completely online, he also released his collaboration on the Air Jordan 5. The colourway, which is inspired by the original trophy room in the Jordan residence, arrived in two colourways: an ice blue and a deep royal red.

While the public release featured the Trophy Room logo on one heel and ‘Nike’ on the other, a third pair of friends and family AJ5s were made, limited to 223 pairs they featured the iconic ‘Nike Air’ on the heel. 

The release of the Air Jordan 5 which garnered larger appeal from fans both within and outside of basketball culture, teed Marcus Jordan’s Trophy Room up for what would become possibly their biggest, and most infamous, release in its history.

Images were first leaked in late 2020 of what was set to be Trophy Room’s Air Jordan 1. Inspired by the 1985 NBA All-Star game in which Michael Jordan was ‘frozen out’, the original Chicago colourway of Marcus’ father’s first signature shoe featured a frozen effect to the upper along with the NBA legend's signature on the heel. 

As is to be expected, the anticipation surrounding the sneaker's imminent release skyrocketed almost immediately. However, it was merely a couple of months after the images had been leaked that things began to get strange with Marcus tweeting

“Funny thing is, We haven’t even paid for the sneakers yet. Up until recently, I wasn’t even told they were in America. TR [Trophy Room] has zero pairs”.

“Shiesty brothers in Memphis [in reference to Nike’s Memphis distribution centre] acting funny, so the Family fixin’ it”. While there was never an exact target individual that the tweets were aimed at, when Complex reached out to Marcus following his appearance on their show Full Size Run, he reportedly declined to comment further.

When it came to the sneaker's release day, fans of the collaboration were left disappointed as most of them missed out, which you’d expect from a release that big. However, it was the images of resellers, including Benjamin Kicks, posing with hundreds, if not thousands, of pairs of what was already limited to 12,000 pairs which turned disappointment, into anger. 

Social media exploded with people trying to work out how this had happened, with many turning to blame Marcus and Nike while the situation took a number of twists and turns from Marcus claiming that any pairs without the Trophy Room blue laces were not sold by them (despite pairs without the blue laces going to some of the biggest names in the industry such as Bun B as well as Nike’s official images not including blue laces) in addition to sources stating that Jordan had sold pairs for upwards of $1,000, well above the retail price of $190, to resellers prior to release. 

Despite the owner of Trophy Room consistently denying the accusations, images were later released in April of 2022 of a hotel lobby with a luggage carrier carrying several boxes full of the Air Jordan 1 after what is said to be the meeting between Benjamin Kicks and Marcus Jordan. 

The whirlwind of frustration and anger towards the Swoosh and Jordan was, and arguably still remains, one of the biggest sneaker scandals in history and one that is likely to never officially be resolved

This sentiment continued in the comments upon the announcement of the latest addition to the Trophy Room x Air Jordan lineage, this time on the Air Jordan 7 which had people asking: Are these going to be backdoored too? 

Despite the controversy from the previous release, the follow-up pair is set to be another one for hardcore Jordan Brand fans. Appearing to be inspired by Michael Jordan’s time in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics which was the first basketball team in US history to feature active NBA players including Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley.

The Olympic colours are seen on the heel tab, in conjunction with a variety of gold detailing throughout. Deep red panels stand out across the upper of the sneaker which is overlaid by premium beige suede. As with most Trophy Room collaborations, the details are what set the sneaker apart from the GR releases.

These include the classic Michael Jordan signature imprinted into the heel along with the inscription ‘New sheriff in town’ which is a line Magic Johnson used when, in his eyes, he officially passed the torch to MJ as the next greatest player in the league. In addition, the date ‘June 22nd 1992’ is stitched into the ankle support which is the date Michael Jordan was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine following their win at the NBA finals in the same year they won gold at the Olympics. 

If that wasn’t enough attention to detail, the shoebox also features a couple of surprises that further elevate the complete package including the original Air Jordan 7 shoebox with the Trophy Room logo featured on the side, as well as ‘Welcome to the family’ in gold and a basketball court printed within the inner lining. 

With Marcus Jordan reopening a brick-and-mortar location, not far from his previous one, as well as releasing a new Air Jordan collaboration, could this be the year he tries to make amends to his tainted reputation? Time will tell. 

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