October 15, 2022

Ro Spit's Two18 x Air Jordan 2 Low for Detroit and Beyond | That's 5

Kevin Kosanovich

Kevin holds a Ph.D. in American studies and is an expert in American cultural history and hip-hop. He is the Senior Content Manager at StockX.

Ro Spit brings the southeastern Michigan love on Two18's take of the Air Jordan 2 Low for an epic collaboration with Jordan Brand.

Ro Spit brings the southeastern Michigan love on Two18's take of the Air Jordan 2 Low for an epic collaboration with Jordan Brand.

This article is part 88 of 85 in the series: That's 5

Roland Coit, BKA Ro Spit, has been pushing the culture in southeastern Michigan for the better part of two decades. With two highly influential shops – Burn Rubber and Two18 – he’s collabed with brands from New Balance, Puma, Reebok, and Fila, and worked with big names like Eminem. When Jordan Brand called, Ro was ready to push his love of culture and community to new heights. The Two18 x Air Jordan 2 Low represents Ro’s boldest statement and shows that anything is possible when you stay true to yourself and do the work.

The Two18 x Air Jordan 2 Low was released on 10/14 at Two18 in Detroit and Burn Rubber in Royal Oak, Michigan. If you can’t make the release or don’t live in Michigan, we’ve got you covered.

How did this collaboration come together? 

Around May of 2021, Jordan Brand reached out to me. They were starting this program called the International Flight Club, comprised of three retailers worldwide –  Shelflife in South Africa, Titan in the Philippines, and then us, Two18, for North America. And Jordan Brand wanted to kick off the program with the Jordan 2. 

Why the Jordan 2 Low? 

From a fan standpoint, I can say that the Jordan 2 Low is not the most popular retro. But it has a niche market of consumers that absolutely love it. It’s this small group of people, and what they’re attempting to do from the Jordan side of things – from the Nike side – is give the Jordan 2 its relevance that it always should have had and bring it back to the forefront. Similarly to what Nike and Jordan Brand did with the Jordan 1. So with the Jordan 2, they’re looking to do the same thing – starting with  Virgil and Off-White, Union, and Nina Chanel. 

Could you walk me through the design process? What story were you looking to tell with your Two 18 x Jordan 2 Low? 

I started with my Two18 brand manager and lead designer, Mario Butterfield. Mario and I started bouncing and throwing ideas around with the managers at each store, Jay John at Burn Rubber and Alex Collins at Two18. We spitballed and whatever stuck, stuck. From there, Mario and I brought everything together, and Mario put his magic on it, and we submitted the design to Jordan Brand. The dope thing about Jordan Brand is that they allowed us to tell our own stories. They didn’t try to manipulate it in any type of way.  

One of the main things we wanted to represent was not just Detroit but all of southeastern Michigan. I’m from Pontiac; we love Flint. We thought about kids in the hood who feel like they don’t have a voice, and we wanted to represent them with the actual shoe design. I wanted something that people would want to wear. I wanted to see it on people’s feet. I wanted people not to care who designed it – it’s just super fresh, and they want to put it on and wear it.

How does the design communicate southeastern Michigan and metro Detroit sneaker culture? 

When I started thinking about the design’s colors, it was fall colors. So I start thinking about Detroit, the history of Detroit, and fall and cold weather fashion. In Detroit, that starts thinking Pelle Pelle jackets and Al Wissam brown; you start thinking of Rockport boots and Timberlands. All that speaks to this time of year.

Also, pay attention to the numbers on the laces and the apparel. The numbers are a nod to Detroit’s Cartier culture – one of the first things we talked to Jordan Brand about incorporating into the design. One of the ways to tell if Cartier’s are real is from the serial number on the bridge of the nose or on the arm. The numbers we used on the shoes and clothing are our serial numbers letting you know this is all authentic. 

But the biggest thing is the fade on the bottom, on the shoe’s outsole. We used this opportunity as our platform to tell the world that the Flint water crisis continues. The outsole fades from brown – symbolizing the tainted, dirty Flint water – to clear. This is us hoping and praying that one day Flint will get back to clean, clear water.   

In addition to the Jordans, there’s also apparel. 

There’s a women’s fleece crew neck and pants, a Jordan hoodie, t-shirts, and fleece shorts. Detroit has this reputation of being “matchy-matchy” with the colors on everything – if the red is a little bit off, then they can’t wear it. So we wanted to get away from that. The apparel and product do not really match it all but be in the same color palette, so it all looks good if you put it all together. And even with the black. The shorts we did are black, and there’s no black on the shoe, other than we have a third lace that’s black for the shoe. But that was intentional; you know what I mean?  

Finally, how can people cop the sneakers and clothing? 

If you’re in or around the Detroit area on Friday, October 15th, we’ll release everything at our store, Two18, at 2:18 PM. And then we’re doing a staggered release around 7:00 PM at Burn Rubber in Royal Oak. That’s for those people that were working and couldn’t be there earlier. The same with the clothing – it’ll be at both stores. 

@burnrubberdetroit | @shoptwo18 | @ro_spit