Inside the Vault
Made by ballers for ballers, Quai 54 has been a cornerstone of Parisian summers since 2003. Jordan Brand officially became involved with the tournament in 2007, a ground-breaking partnership not only because it was Jordan’s first partnership with any entity outside the U.S., but also because it was the first time the brand had ever aligned with a streetball tournament.
Quai 54 continues to play a role in both the basketball community and urban culture in Paris, always honouring its African origins with pride.
Here, Thibaut de Longeville, one of the event’s creators, shares some details on previous Jordan x Quai 54 collections.
2009: AJ1 ‘Ruff & Tuff’
This was the first official ‘Quai 54’ Jordan shoe released, back in 2009.
What better way to kick off the partnership than with a Jordan 1, the shoe that started everything for Jordan?
And this was a true first—as crazy as it may sound today, it was the first ever Jordan collaboration in history, as the brand wasn’t doing any collaborations of any kind at the time.
2011: JORDAN V
The Quai 54 Air Jordan V is the shoe that changed the game for the Jordan x Quai 54 collaboration.The AJV was the first Jordan shoe ever to be released in stores in Paris back in 1990.
Prior to that, Jordans simply weren’t available in Paris.That gave even more value and significance to having a Quai 54 AJV.
The shoe made Quai 54 known around the world as a lot of people knew the shoe before they even knew of the tournament and the organisation.
2015: JORDAN XIII
The Quai 54 Air Jordan XIII was really cool because it was the first to include design components directly inspired by Parisian design stories, specifically the Eiffel Tower monument.
Hence Quai 54 was known as ‘that cool streetball tournament under the Eiffel Tower’.
This shoe also sees the introduction of more intricate details in the design features, like the Quai 54 logo on the outsole.
2016: JORDAN II
This shoe showcases a certain notion of French elegance and the luxury often associated with Paris.
The gold story echoed well with the visual scenery of Quai 54, which staged hardcore basketball action in front of these fancy backdrops—Parisian monuments often being adorned with gold.
2018: JORDAN III
The Parisian basketball community is in many ways flamboyant—and unafraid to wear colour.
The idea of using neon and fluorescent colours came from that. We developed a bold fluorescent colour palette for the event to create an environment that would be visually striking and could magnify that idea of flamboyance, both on and off the court.”
2019: JORDAN VIII
It was cool that one of the two shoes that Jordan would retro for Quai 54’s 15th anniversary would be the AJ8, as this shoe had always had a ‘streetball’ feel to it.
Design-wise, it has ties to the Nike Air Raid, a shoe designed for streetball.
The Quai 54 AJ VIII incorporates Parisian colours, an African palette and Bauhaus graphic design.
2020: JORDAN VI
The graphic story is inspired by the traditional Bogolan graphics from West Africa.
This shoe represents the multicultural, basketball-loving, design-savvy Paris that we love and want to celebrate.
West Africa has a very rich design heritage in graphic patterns, colour palettes and fabrics, and we like the challenge of re-interpreting, remixing and modernising this heritage in different ways.