When we all sat down to watch The Last Dance at the height of the lockdown period, no one could have predicted the second coming of His Airness. Sure, we all remember how great Chicago Bulls NBA legend Michael Jordan was on the court, but the record-breaking docu-series also reminded us of his unparalleled sense of style. Big fits, shocking hats and an assortment of ill-fitting suits, MJ’s fashion was far from iconic, but his choice of eyewear raised eyebrows in all the right ways. Now, more than a year after the docu-series concluded, Oakley is bringing back the surprise hit of the year. And they’ve enlisted some modern-day ballers to help.
Rechoreographed as a limited-edition revival set, the iconic sunglasses brand has unveiled the Eye Jacket and Eye Jacket Redux. Tag-teaming in for the launch are NBA players Kelly Oubre Jr. and Damian Lillard, who follow in the footsteps of Air Jordan himself.
“I grew up in the ‘90s, during what many consider to be the golden era of professional basketball. It also happened to mark the introduction of Eye Jacket and Oakley’s first major strides in the game of basketball,” Lillard said. “I remember seeing Eye Jacket on the faces of many of the game’s top players back then and it’s still immediately recognisable to me today. It is a privilege to be part of this campaign and help bridge Oakley’s basketball presence from past to present, from a time when both the sport and the brand flourished.”
For reference, the original Eye Jacket was created by Oakley’s designers using Computer-Aided Design (CAD). The modern technology allowed for sculptural design and the ‘manifestation of XYZ Optics’, giving the wearer enhanced optical clarity. Better, yet, the original frame was one of the first created on 3-D printers, which meant more room for customisation and on-the-fly design adjustments.
Flash-forward to 2021, and both the Eye Jacket and Eye Jacket Redux continue to make the same bold statement. This time around, Oakley has bumped up the style evolution, giving the eyewear a refined performance and lifestyle edge. For perennial NBA style icon Kelly Oubre Jr., who now plays for Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets, teaming up for the launch was a no-brainer.
“I’ve never been afraid to take risks, especially with my style,” he said. “I’ve created a look that is uniquely my own. At the same time, basketball is my life – my passion for sport and style is synonymous with the Oakley brand and is a big reason why I am excited to represent Oakley in basketball; especially when I get to be part of a launch with such a globally recognised and iconic product.”
Both the Eye Jacket and Eye Jacket Redux frames will be sold together with just 250 pieces available for purchase worldwide. For more information, check out the link below.