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Jordan Brand collaboration with Detroit’s Two18 is a fresh breeze of originality — Andscape

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DETROIT – Every so often in this era of fake authenticity, manufactured hype, and relentless gentrification of Black culture, something real rises to the top.

That describes the new sneaker collaboration between Jordan Brand and the Detroit boutique Two18, owned by sneaker connoisseur and hip-hop artist Roland Coit. His remix of the Air Jordan 2 Low is a fresh breeze through the swamp of sneaker reissues, with layers of detail and meaning that give the shoe something truly rare: originality.

Coit’s shoe, plus his capsule collection of sweats, T-shirts, and shorts, dropped exclusively at Two18 on Oct. 14, followed by a wider release at select Jordan Brand retailers and Nike.com. The event also represents a long overdue opportunity for a local Black business and an acknowledgment of cities beyond the usual haute haunts. Hip-hop created and sustains sneaker culture, yet only 5% of sneaker retailers are Black in a market that generated $70 billion in sales in 2020.

“This could be a culture shift for Detroit, for Michigan, for the Midwest,” Coit, 43, told me as we sat in his store, an airy space off the Eastern Market district near downtown.

In terms of hip-hop, Detroit has always had a lyrical boom-bap element, pioneered by the streetwear designer and DJ Maurice Malone, who cultivated a movement that nurtured J Dilla, Eminem, and others. Another distinct but overlapping scene was filled with dope boys and gangsters who wore gators, permed hair, campaign hats, and danced the Errol Flynn. Today, Detroit is still known for fur coats, Cartier frames, color-coordinated outfits, and a musical legacy that inspired Coit to start DJing as a teenager.

His store, which opened in February, is the sister establishment to Burn Rubber, a spot in suburban Royal Oak where Coit first made his mark. But Coit’s path to this moment – a Black man elevated to a global stage by one of the world’s most recognizable brands – started in his hometown of Pontiac, 30 miles north of Detroit. 

When placed side by side, the left and right insoles of the new Jordan 2 form a map that features not only Pontiac, Detroit and the beleaguered Flint, but if-you-know-you-know locations such as Lambertville, Rockville, and Southfield.

When placed side by side, the left and right insoles of the new Jordan 2 form a map that features Pontiac, Flint, Lambertville, Rockville, and Southfield.

Vuhlandes for Andscape

“I didn’t want it to be my shoe. It’s our shoe,” Coit said. “It’s for that kid that waits in line for three days, for the resellers that are buying them to flip, I want everybody to take a level of ownership. Then I put in neighborhoods like Highland Park, Southwest Detroit, Oak Park, Inkster.

“It’s not just putting my logo on it and saying it’s fresh because of that. If you’re a kid from Pontiac, you’ve never seen your name on a map. Now you’re about to see it on a Jordan shoe that’s going across the world and a T-shirt that’s going to be literally all across the world.

“It gives you this level of hope.”

Coit and Mario Butterfield, brand manager of Two18 and lead designer of the shoe, conceived the outside of the sneaker as a forward flow of nubuck, suede, and leather. The different textures, from the plastic heel to the pebbled side panel — a nod to the faux lizard skin on the original Jordan 2 — create a rhythm of brown shades. “I want people to wear it. I don’t want it to be so crazy-looking that you want to just put it on a shelf,” Coit said. The double-layered piping, blue on red, is just one Easter egg in the shoe’s basket. The outsole, which fades from dark brown to clear, has another hidden meaning. More on those later.

All these artisanal touches can only be fully appreciated through Coit’s life story, which is summed up by the words embroidered inside the tongue: 

“THROUGH IT ALL.”


One of Coit’s earliest sneaker memories is a feeling of satisfaction from lining up 14 pairs of off-brand shoes from the discount retailer Kinney. In elementary school, he graduated from those bobos to a navy Nike Cortez with a white swoosh. They doubled as his hoop shoes, and the nylon ripped easily, so young Roland cut the fringes off the tears and sewed them up with navy thread.





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