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Trend May 26, 2020 7 min read

The Last Dance: A master class in 90s fashion

Transcending cultures and generations, Michael Jordan not only made his mark on the court, but in the fashion realm as well.

90s fashion

Transcending cultures and generations, Michael Jordan not only made his mark on the court, but in the fashion realm as well.

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that some of his iconic looks have resurfaced recently on the runway and across social media, prompting us to ask – which trends are safe to invest in next season? And how can retailers get in on the action?

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What’s happening with Jordan products?

Nike in both regions has noted a positive upward trend in the number of sell outs from the start of March to date. The number of sell outs for Jordan product reached peak the week of May 3rd in the US. However, in the UK, sell outs were highest in the week leading up to the premiere of the docu-series. Following the premiere, the UK initially noted a decline in sell outs but has since rebounded with increases observed the past two weeks.

Initially after the release of the docuseries, tops experienced the most number of sell outs as fans of Michael Jordan looked to get their hands on the brand at a palatable price point. However, footwear has since overtaken as the number one category for Jordan product sell outs. Trainers/sneakers remains the preferred footwear silhouette for Jordan fans, followed by T-shirts and hoodies, respectively.

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MJ-approved trends for Fall 2020

1. Jersey co-ords

Photographed in a shorts and T-shirt combo, MJ rocked a bold-colored, 90s style print paired with a baseball cap and white sneakers – not unlike an ensemble that might be worn today.

With the current pandemic continuing on and consumers buying more loungewear than ever before, look to drawstring short and T-shirt combos for high summer appeal. The comfort trend is not likely to die down moving into fall, so expand your offering to include sweatpants and hoodies to accommodate declining temperatures.

2. Tracksuits

Characterized by nylon fabrics and color-blocking techniques, the tracksuit is a standout piece from the 90s and a key theme from the runway for next season. As loungewear continues to grow, this head-to-toe ensemble will be making a comeback and should hold a place in your assortment.

As an update to current styles, look to play with color panels and branding techniques. Revive throwback logos from the 90s and incorporate pastel hues into blocking. Sports-inspired stripes are also classic to the trend and should be added to joggers and track jackets.

3. Polo shirts

Perhaps one of the most commercial trends from the MJ era to date, the polo shirt has frequently been promoted this spring across Instagram and email communications. The silhouette sits within top moving products on a weekly basis as well.

However, while the shape remains unchanged, several updates across Fall 2020 shirt trends are available to transition the look to next season. Color variation and retro themes offer mass appeal here – take note from Giorgio Armani, who included a grey polo in his fall collection with a color pop on the placket. As the future of office dress codes hang in the balance and working from home is the new norm, polos offer the perfect middle ground between smart and casual.

4. Sports-inspired

Most often pictured in his iconic #23 Chicago Bulls basketball jersey, Jordan has helped popularize sporty looks for decades. A resurgence of the trend found its way into the mass market in 2013 following Miley Cyrus’ song, 23, where she famously rocked the jersey in her music video.

From 00s TV revivals to recent shows like Normal People, the varsity trend has asserted its staying power for seasons to come. Sports jerseys, letterman style bombers and rugby shirts are all central to this theme.

5. Double denim

Years before Justin & Britney famously rocked the look on the 2001 AMA red carpet, Michael Jordan sported double denim throwing out the first pitch of the ALCS game for the Blue Jays in 1993. This ensemble, affectionately dubbed the ‘Canadian tuxedo’, is commonly pushed at several mass denim retailers.

From trucker jackets to denim button-down shirting, the trend exudes Western vibes, still popular despite the current pandemic. Dark washes offer the safest option from the runway, while adding distressing, embellishments and embroidery offers a more fashion-forward approach.

6. Brown hues

Pictured in one of his classic oversized tailoring looks, Jordan had no way of knowing then that brown hues would be a dominant Fall 2020 runway color. Currently, basic T-shirts, elastic waist shorts and quarter zip styles are seeing high SKU activity.

As lockdowns ease and temperatures drop, look to tailoring stories as a way to incorporate the shade into your assortment. The color palette also lends itself to the emerging 70s-inspired trends spotted in the market. Head-to-toe looks from co-ord basics to smarter outfits will be key next season. Play with fabrications such as corduroy and checked prints for a playful investment into the trend.

7. Boxy blazers

Thanks to his larger than average size, combined with the style from that era, Jordan often donned exaggerated suits en route to games and at formal events. The basketball star typically layered a mock neck top or turtleneck underneath – not unlike trends popular today.

Though occasionwear and workwear stories are not in high demand at the moment, this is sure to increase as lockdowns begin to ease. Next season, look to oversized blazers and jackets paired with slim-fit trousers for a yin and yang effect. Unstructured fits and double-breasted styles will move to the forefront for a casual aesthetic.

8. Wide-leg trousers

In another suited look, MJ opted for a neutral, high-waisted trouser – the likes of which remain popular in high fashion today. While the mass market has been slower to invest, wide-leg trousers were a key shape on the runway and are sure to rise in popularity across the coming months.

Identified as a commercial bottoms shape for Fall 2020, the wide-leg trouser was spotted in collections like MSGM and Lanvin. Another staple in the growing seventies revival movement, pair with brogues for a smarter look or chunky sneakers for a casual, streetwear vibe.

9. Berets

Another trend that has proved more prominent in high fashion is the beret. Jordan memorably rocked the accessory during his trip to Paris with the Bulls in ’97, paired with his basketball warm-ups.

One of the many Fall 2020 accessory trends to emerge, the beret was included in collections from the likes of Dior to Undercover. The headwear style was often paired with tailored or smart looks typically landing later in the season. Also of note, another trademark accessory of Jordan’s popped up on the runway in Fall – the single hoop earring.

10. Suede loafers

The loafer trend has been building rapidly across men’s footwear for some time now. A lover of golf himself, Michael sported a dark suede pair while out on the course years back. This lended a laidback vibe to his ensemble.

Similar to styles worn now, suede and velvet materials will be key to successful loafers as the two are prominent fall fabrics. For an easy refresh, consider adding buckle bars or tassels to elevate the trend for occasionwear looks. Chunky soles can also be leveraged for a utility-inspired story.

How can you get involved?

Curate an edit

Whether Jordan products are stocked in your assortment or not, create a landing page of black and red apparel or sports-inspired trends to rock the look.

Post on social

An easy way to participate in the conversation is through social media. Run a poll via Instagram stories or post a caption that gets your consumer involved.

Run an MJ-inspired discount

23% off anyone? Rather than the popular 25% off promotion typically run, opt for the athlete’s iconic jersey number instead and save a bit of margin.

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