DETROIT – They are sneakers designed to tell the story of Detroit and surrounding communities. We’re talking about the new Air Jordan 2 retro lows designed by a team from Detroit’s very own Two 18, a sneaker store in Eastern Market.
The shoes are set for release around the world Friday (Oct. 21), but Two 18 and sister store Burn Rubber in Royal Oak are doing an early release to make sure locals are the first to get them.
Two 18 opened doors at 2:18 p.m. for customers and to say they’re a hit is a bit of an understatement as hundreds lined up to get a pair.
“I’ve been out here roughly since about 8 p.m. last night,” said Kyle Daniel.
“I think I got here about 11 a.m.,” said Angela Brooks.
“I’ve been here since 10 a.m. this morning,” said Marino Moutafis.
Read: ‘Our story’: Detroit-themed Nike Air Jordan designed by local boutique
They stood in line for hours to get the Detroit-theme Air Jordan 2 sneakers. The excitement isn’t just for the sneakers but for what they represent.
“It’s what drew me out here,” Brooks said. “Supporting Roland (designer and Two 18 owner) and the fact that it’s representing my city.”
“Honestly, I think it’s the insole,” Moutafis said. “The map of the city, the highways, the roads in Southfield, Detroit, Pontiac.”
Lines wrapped around the building are something Two 18 owner and one of the sneakers designers, Roland “Ro Spit” Coit, dreamed of way before this moment.
“I saw this years ago,” said Coit. “It was this exact same thing years ago before I got here.”
Damian Rodriguez, Jordan Brand North America Marketing Lead, said it’s hard to put his excitement into words.
“To actually see this whole thing come to life from when we first called Ro and told him we’re giving you a shoe to like now being here on release date, I’m literally speechless,” said Rodriguez.
The energy in the crowd spoke for itself.
“This is what you see in Chicago, this is what you see in LA, in NY, and we’re trying to bring this into Detroit and once again to show the world that we’re here, and we have a voice,” Coit said.
There was an additional special release at the sister store Burn Rubber in Royal Oak at 7 p.m.