Words & Images by Juan Carrillo

Here’s a few fun facts about me.

  • Jordan Brand is the main reason I got into sneakers. Seeing Michael Jordan do his thing on the hardwood while wearing his very own sneakers was one of the most memorable memories during my childhood. It was then and there that my love for sneakers began to flourish.
  • If someone were to ask what part of the world I’d like to visit one day, one of my very first answers would probably be the country of Italy.

That being said, when Jordan Brand contacted me to be one of the select few to attend the Jordan Brand footwear unveil and launch event of the Air Jordan 32 in Turin, Italy, you could say that it was a dream come true scenario. 

My time in Italy flew by with the quickness, today I’ll do my best to share some of the most memorable moments during my 36 hours in Italy.

Monday 8/29/17

2:38 pm – 20-some-odd hours in 3 planes and airports later, I finally arrive to Turin, Italy all the way from Ontario, California. I was greeted at the airport by my very own chauffeur who drove me from the airport to the NH Lingotto Tech Hotel. Upon arrival, I was given the key card to my room. To my surprise, the table in my room was filled with a greeting card, some carpe diem, snacks, tourist info on the city of Turin and an itinerary of what’s to come. At this point in time, things got real. I get settled in, unpack, clean up and get ready for the group dinner.

7:29 pm – A couple of vans pick us up from the hotel and take us to our next destination, a cool little Italian spot (duh) right in the heart of the city. We’re surrounded by beautiful old building structures, live music entertainment, a dope sunset, good food and even better company. We eat, drink, conversate and welcome the night sky.

 

Tuesday 8/30/17

2:06 am – The next couple of hours fly by. Dinner ends, and most of the group decides to keep the night going. We tour the city on-feet, drink a glass (or two) of red wine, enjoy the nice Summer breeze and finish our night off with a slice (or three) of pizza at around 3 am. I mean pizza in Italy is a must, right?

10:44 am – The day of the event has finally arrived. After a good night’s sleep we grub on some continental breakfast courtesy of the hotel and get ready to tour the city of Turin. The event is not until late in the evening so we have a good amount of time to do whatever we please. A group of us decided to take a taxi and visit a few of the local spots the front desk at the hotel recommended. The architecture and design of some of these building in Turin are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Italy is know for their refined architecture and cuisine, I can now see why they obtained that recognition. We grab a quick lunch and head back to the hotel to get ready for the night’s festivities.

6:52 pm – As the sun begins to set, we head on out to our group dinner at the world famous Eataly. We indulge on more Italian delicacies. This time the menu consists of insalata russa, spaghetti, steak and pistachio mousse. The dinner was great, but I’m pretty sure most of us were excited for what was to follow soon thereafter.

 

8:40 pm – Not knowing what to expect from the launch/unveiling event, we all anxiously meet up at the hotel lobby. We follow the Nike reps outside and are greeted by at least 5 Black Maseratis. The drivers tell us to get in, and the show begins. We take a short drive down the street to a tall structure where the Maseratis begin to drive all the way up to the roof top of the building. We end up at Fiat’s roof top test track. Yes, there’s a test track on the roof, and yes, we drove on the race track really, really fast. After a few laps around the track, we get out the cars full of excitement and adrenaline and prepare for the event. We are escorted to a room located above the race track. Inside the room we are greeted by Tate Kuerbis (designer of the shoe) and David Creech (Jordan Brand VP of design). Tate gave us insight on how the shoe was made and where the inspiration came from. Tate loves the mix of materials used on the shoe (Flyknit/suede/leather) to create the ultimate game shoe by combining art and science on to the shoe. The shoes were on display, all three pairs. The Air Jordan 32 Rossa Corsa, the Air Jordan 32 Bred, and the Air Jordan 32 Low in Black and Red.

 

10:00 pm – Once the unveiling commenced we were given a chance to try out the shoe on-court. The court where we played in was on the roof top as well.. Yes, the set-up was as cool as it sounds. Jordan Brand gifted us a pair of the Air Jordan 32 along with some Jordan Brand apparel to match with it. We suited up, ran some drills and played a quick game to test out the latest and greatest from Jordan Brand. Not pictured, the endless amount of food and drinks, including an entire pig leg, yes pig leg.
Edit: Shout out to russbegston for snapping a pic of the gigantic pig leg.

11:30 pm – The event ends. We’re all tired so we head back to the hotel to catch a few Zs. I wake up at 3 am only to pack and be at the airport by 4 am to head back home. Just like that, the 36 hours in Italy have come to an end.

My opinion on the shoe? I dig it. I’ve always wondered what our favorite retros would look like in a modern aesthetic. I basically view the Air Jordan 32 as a modernized version of the Air Jordan 2. The Air Jordan 2 inspiration behind the shoe evident, but the 32s also have their own style and look to them. I’m a huge fan of how Flyknit looks, and this new high-tenacity yarn used for the Flyknit uppers provides the shoe with a nice stretch, support and zonal lockdown. In other words, not only does the upper look good, but it also performs. I also think the Air Jordan 32  looks great off the court as a casual wearing sneaker, something many of the newer Jordans have failed to succeed in doing so.

Want to know more about the tech side of the shoe? Click/Tap here.
FYI- Yes, I was gifted the Black and Red pair and yes that was my preference of color.

Overall, from top to bottom, this has got to be one of the most memorable moments I’ve ever experienced in my life. Jordan Brand really knows how to throw an event.

To even be considered, let alone be chosen to be a part of the select few taking part in this event is truly an honor. A big thank you to my new friends over at Jordan Brand/Nike. Kicks on Fire salutes you! I’m already looking forward to the next one.