Sample Sunday: Friends of the Family

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Everyone wishes they had a ‘plug’ to their favorite shoe brands…

  • “I gotta boy at Adidas that keeps me laced.”
  • “Oh these, got these from my guy at Jordan Brand.”
  • “S/O to the connect, bless up.”

Having an inner channel straight to your favorite shoes is a privilege not many know. A super exclusive group of people (or people with deep wallets) acquire ‘Friends and Family’ editions (f&f for short) of released and unreleased shoes with the purpose of pure exclusivity. For example, lets say you own a pair of ‘Bred’ Air Jordan 1’s from 2016. That same shoe exists in retail form and sample form (samples are an identical to retail variant, sometimes with a bit better construction but the shoe’s tags say “sample, property of Nike”); but there’s also a f&f version of those same ‘Bred’ Jordan 1’s with ‘Shattered Backboard’ Jordan 1 level leather quality. In conclusion, there’s levels to the shoe game.

Quai 54’s founders

Now, to our point on this fine Sample Sunday. Jordan Brand’s annual French basketball extravaganza, the Quai 54 Streetball Tournament. Started by¬†Hammadoun Sidib√© and Thibaut de Longeville in 2002, Quai 54 is the world’s largest streetball tournament (and dunk contest) held in June annually. Jordan has been lacing up participants for years now and they’ve started released said mentioned shoes to the public. Like we outlined earlier, retail versions of some pairs exist and samples float around the market too; but the real heaters are various f&f editions made specially for those associated with Quai 54 (honestly, Nike/ Jordan’s inner circle get pairs too when they have no association with Quai 54). Today we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane with some quick ‘shoe porn’ pics of Quai 54 f&f kicks, enjoy!

Foampsite One, 2015

Quai 54 kicks aren’t limited to Jordans, Nike has gotten in on the action with some straight up fire footwear. In recent years they’ve included Kobe kicks and Air Force 1’s but this Foampsite pair is extremely rare, the rarest of the bunch, almost unobtainable.

Jordan 1, 2017

You can see where the ‘Homage to Home’ Jordan 1’s that released earlier this year with these Quai 54 1’s. Two-tone to the fullest with ultra premium materials.

Jordan 3, 2018

You’ll see this execution used in the Jordan 5 too but the extremely effective method of reversing the shoe’s base color from black to white really worked well with the Jordan 3.

Air Jordan 4, 2012

Oddly in 2012 Jordan didn’t make a very special Quai 54 shoe as they simply added a tag to the ‘Military Blue’ Jordan 4. Personally, I love when brands made understated changes to well-known pairs, it gives them an exclusive touch that some under appreciate.

Jordan 5, 2011

The greatest of Quai 54’s offerings through Jordan Brand. This beauty flipped the retail version’s white leather base with a base mirroring the ‘Metallic’ 5’s. Green accents differentiate this from ‘Metallic’ in all the right ways.