The Air Jordan VI silhouette was famously inspired by the MJ’s German sportswear. It’s very essence conveyed speed and class, laden with touches like a neoprene sleeve, a translucent outsole and etc. The Air Jordan VI was the model he wore en route to his first Championship title with the Chicago Bulls.
A part of 5 original colourways to release in 1991, the Air Jordan VI ‘Carmine’ colourway stood out from the other with its unusual red hue and colour-blocking, differentiating itself from the known Infrared that was used.
Since it’s release the AJVI Carmine has been a sought after iteration due to its lack of retros. Since its initial release, it has only been retrod twice. In 2008, it was part of a limited 2 pair duo dubbed ‘The Countdown Pack’ alongside the Air Jordan XVII and then again in 2014 as a standalone release.
For its 30th anniversary, Jordan Brand have delved into its roots by releasing the AJVI Carmine in its original form. Featuring a duo-tone combination of white leather and carmine unbuckle, black hits a used on the midsole, lining and tongue. Further white additions are displayed on the outsole combined with translucent details around air bubble and forefoot. The original form takes place through the addition of ‘Nike Air’ branding on the heel.
The Air Jordan VI ‘Carmine’ is coming soon to Footpatrol…!
Footpatrol: Mark thanks for spending some time with us! How have you been getting on with everything?
Mark: Thank you for having me. I’ve actually had a really busy January, I’ve been working on designs and launching the web store for Sneakers & Recreation, and I also celebrated the birth of my first child so it’s been pretty hectic but all good fun!
FP: We wanted to talk with you of course about your collection and where this passion all began. Could you start off by giving us an overview on how long you’ve been collecting and what was the catalyst behind your love for Jordans?
Mark: Yeah for sure, I actually got my first pair of Jordans when I was 16 and I started playing basketball at college. I was playing in some really busted cheap Nikes and a friend of mine said to me that he couldn’t bear to watch me playing in them any longer. He had a new pair of Jordan 16’s so he actually gave me his old pair which were the black/indiglo 14’s. I absolutely wore those into the ground as you can see by the state of them. I love them though and of course I got the retro when they came out a few years ago because they mean a lot to me. Then when I was 18 I bought my first pair with my own money which was the Jordan 18. At that time and for the next few years I was really buying Jordans just for hooping, and maybe I’d have one pair to wear casually too.
FP: Did you ever see yourself when you start owning as many pairs as you do now?
Mark: I definitely never envisaged having this many pairs. I remember in the early 2000’s looking in SLAM magazine at a pair of white cement 3’s and thinking that was the most beautiful pair of shoes I had ever seen. It was just unlike anything else. I absolutely loved MJ, and if I wasn’t playing basketball I was watching videos of him, as well as Penny and AI, but Mike was always the goat for me and that meant Jordan’s were always the shoe that I wanted. Plus not many people had them so they felt even more special.
I guess it just kind of built up slowly from there. I actually had more pairs at one point and it peaked in about 2014, (I blame eBay) there was just too many great shoes that came out in the mid 00’s and in around 2010 when I was earning some real money I was able to buy all the things that I’d missed out on!
So at that point I peaked somewhere between 150/200 pairs. Then in 2015 I went to live in New Zealand for a year and I only took five pairs with me and the rest were put into storage. Even though I bought quite a few pairs when I was there, I realised that I didn’t miss all of the pairs in storage and there were definitely some I could do without. So I cut my collection down to about 80 pairs and now I try and hover around the 80 to 100 mark at all times.
FP: Anyone that’s seen your social media will know you have got what almost looks like every colour under the sun. Including some customs! Is there one Jordan colourway that has always been your favourite?
Mark: I think most Jordan fans will say that there’s something special about Chicago red and white colourways on Jordans, and the Chicago Jordan 1 is my favourite shoe and colourway. I do absolutely love cement and elephant print too though on a white canvas, so the white cement 3 and 4 come in at second and third respectively.
FP: What about PE versions, is there any that you have or wish you had?
Mark: Actually when I was in New Zealand I did pick up a pair of PE’s, which is very random and the only pair I own. I went into a vintage store in Wellington and they had a few Jordans in there, nothing too exciting, and then I saw this pair with GW3 stitched on the back. I knew that Gerald Wallace was a team Jordan athlete but I thought there’s no way that there could be a PE in here. I check the tag inside and there it is: Promo, with his name, the style and the season on it. So I sent a photo of them over to friend in the US who collects PE’s and he hit me right back to say they were a legit pair.
I checked the price with the sales assistant, and they actually had a sale on that day. I picked them up for the equivalent of £22.50! So they’re really random PE but a PE nonetheless haha!
There is a lot I wish I did have though and number one would definitely be the Oregon duck 3’s. The Kobe 3 and 8 pack too, and any of the UNC team shoes that have come out in recent years.
FP: We brought you here to talk about the Air Jordan 6 for the return of the Carmine. As a model do you think the Air Jordan 6 has as much importance as other silhouettes within the Jordan range?
Mark: I think the 6 is so important particularly because its the silhouette the Mike won his first championship in so it’s going to be forever embedded in history because of that. However there might be some newer fans who aren’t as familiar with the model, and actually releases like the Travis Scott 6, and this Carmine release, are really important in order to bring this model to the forefront again and showcase to the younger fans of the line. Because it’s a beautiful Tinker designed shoe that has an important place in the history of the Jordan legacy.
FP: For a colourway to release only a couple times (including the Countdown Pack) since 91, how do you fair this latest iteration will do and do you believe that it will be appreciated as such?
Mark: I feel the same way about this coming back as I did the Fire Red 4 last year. It’s just so important that we’ve got it as close to that OG and with that in the Nike Air as well.
Looking at these I can see that the shape is much closer to the OG, in particular the tongue height, and there’s also some subtle differences like the colour of carmine red used, and the holes on the tongue. All of these go a long way to giving it that truly OG feel and the real heads definitely appreciate that, and I think that some of the newer heads will love them too!
FP: Do you own many 6s or even any of the previous Carmine releases?
Mark: Yeah I have about 10 pairs of 6’s, 4 of which are actually iterations of the Black/Infrared over different years. I love the 2000 release, so I have 2 of those, one which I turned into a Reverse infrared custom because I knew I’d never own that sample! I also have the Motorsport 6 which isn’t a pair you see very often but it has some really individual details and the elephant print lining is just too good. But the Carmine is my favourite 6, and compared to the 2014 version these are just perfect. So they’ll definitely be on foot a lot this year!
FP: Is there any memorable moment that you have surrounding the Air Jordan 6?
Mark: What stays embedded in my head with the 6 is that locker room footage of Mike crying, hugging the trophy after he wins that first championship. With his father next to him. Just the feeling of complete overwhelming elation getting to that point in his career. I also love the photo of the starting 5 with the championship trophy with Mike in the Carmines and Phil Jackson in Bred 4’s!
FP: I saw you have a custom AJ6 ‘Tour Yellow’ which looks amazing on that shoe, the 4s are one of my favourites! Besides that colour way, is there another that you wish you could transfer on to the Jordan 6?
Mark: Thank you so much, I actually made those six years ago because the 4’s are one of my favourite pairs too and I just thought that the colourway would translate really effortlessly onto a 6. I see that Jordan brand are actually rumoured to be bringing out a 6 low in the same colourway this year so I’ll be after a pair of those (and some royalties haha).
I would love to see the Mist blue colourway on the 6 as thats another one of my favourite 4’s and I think that would work really nicely. Aside from those, a real release of the Reverse Infrared 6 sample would be pretty awesome.
FP: Mark thanks for much again for talking to us about your passion!
Mark: Much appreciated, its been a pleasure to chop it up with you!