Limited Edition Nike Air Jemima

I was asked to write short description about my piece entitled Nike Air Jemima.

Limited Edition Nike Air Jemima 

Two of the most commercialized and well known household names  in the U.S. are Michael Jordan and Aunt Jemima. One is synonymous with basketball and sneakers, the other with breakfast. The branding of these individuals is an American tradition that comes at a hefty price. Aunt Jemima is remnant of a time when African-American women were slaves, and spent entire lifetimes in kitchens. Although the Aunt Jemima logo has been updated to a more modern black woman, she still carries the Auntie, Mammy essence from the early days of America. In 1985 Michael Jordan signed a five-year, $2.5 million deal with Nike. Nike went on to make over a billion dollars and the Jordan brand’s market share of the U.S. basketball shoe market is currently 71%. The Air Jordan sneaker is widely popular,as many “sneaker-heads” line up each year outside of shoe stores for their chance to get retro releases of shoes that are nearly twenty years old. The opposite side of that popularity is the numerous deaths that have occurred from those who simply want the shoes and kill to have them. There is also the overseas factory churning out these $300 dollar sneakers while being paid pennies an hour. I personally am a fan of both breakfast and Air Jordan’s but as I worked on this project I became overwhelmed with the thought that ultimately my love of these things was inevitable due to the commercialization of these products. America at one time didn’t eat breakfast, and we didn’t wear sneakers either. The pancakes on display in the shoe box are an example of the true cost of branding; shiny box on the outside, molding pancakes on the inside.