“With the rerelease of the Air Jordan ‘Cool Grey’, both brands return to chocolate city with an art exhibit pop-up highlighting four women, DMV based artists inspired by the retro 11’s."

In 2001, Michael Jordan decided to come out of retirement for the second time. This time around, the location switched from the windy city to the nation’s capital. While some NBA fans try their best to only remember his Bulls glory days, D.C. natives cherish the seasons when MJ played for the Wizards. What many do not know is the Air Jordan 11 ‘Cool Grey’ was born in D.C. The shoe was originally introduced during MJ’s first game as a Washingtonian. Its neutral hue is reminiscent of the monuments that fill Washington’s skyline while paying homage to Jordan’s cool moves on the court and in the air. Twenty years later, the shoe is has worn by new icons. Women wearing the sneaker have evolved the silhouette from a basketball shoe into a lifestyle symbol that touches sports and fashion alike.

DTLR and Jordan in partnership with Arena Social Arts Club and Hue 2 Gallery worked to share a unique connection to D.C. through the lens of her. The popular sneaker returns to the chocolate city via an art exhibit pop-up highlighting four women from the DMV whose art was curated to tell the Air Jordan 11 “Cool Grey’ origin story in a figurative artistic format.

The Unexpected Creativity Art Exhibition opened on December 7th leading up to the Friends & Family reception on December 10th hosted by DTLR and Jordan brand. With the help from the Arena Social Arts Club attendees were in for a visual treat by four visionaries who created have unexpected art mediums. Artists Lex Marie, Dyymond Whipper-Young, Keiona Clark, and Anisha Murdock were hand-selected to present original pieces inspired by the chilling design and living legacy of the iconic AJ XI.

Inside the Exhibit

Inside the exclusive exhibit, all four ladies created artwork that pushed the possibilities of how the sneaker is viewed. Each woman featured in the exhibition represented a channel number significant to Michael Jordan’s legacy–channels 06, 11, 23, and 45. As visitors walked through the exhibit, they were met with sounds from the “Unexpected Creativity” playlist and phenomenal artwork. During the Friends & Family reception on the second level, DTLR and Jordan brand gifted attendees with a surprise and delight access to the Air Jordan 11s, both ‘Cool Grey’ and Black and White styles. During the day, the exhibit was peaceful with true rejoicing for the upcoming release. At the private event, the space is filled with electric energy only felt in person.

Instantly, the time machine was set to 2001, as millennium television boxes stacked up in the building windows. As you’re walking through the gallery entrance, Unexpected Creativity: A True Icon For New Icons pamphlets were available to learn more about the women behind the work. Every piece of artwork was vastly different, using the most out-of-the-box materials to bring to life a fan favorite. Some of the most influential figures of the DMV stopped by the Sandlot bar to enjoy complimentary refreshments while admiring the Jordan memorabilia placed around the room. DJs kept the vibes flowing as attendees flick it up showing off their J’s. For the lucky raffle winners, sneakerheads were granted an advance pair of retro ‘Cool Grey’ 11’s before the official release!