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Nike Taps Gen Z Star Billie Eilish for Slime-Green Vegan Jordans

Gen Z pop star Billie Eilish is set to finally release a long-awaited Jordan collaboration.

The “Bad Guy” singer has allied herself with the popular Nike brand for years, appearing on a Jordan panel alongside NBA player Russell Westbrook and streetwear designer Don C as far back as June 2018. Rumors of a potential collaboration began spreading less than a year later after Eilish seemed to suggest she was working on a Jordan shoe with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Last September, firmer evidence emerged when Complex quoted Gentry Humphrey, the Jordan Brand’s vice president of footwear, as saying “You see us doing things with folks like Aleali May, you see us, gonna be doing some things with folks like Billie Eilish.” After months of radio silence, pictures emerged online this June of an Air Jordan 1 KO in the artist’s signature slime green color.

Images of Billie Eilish's Air Jordan 1 KO cropped up online over the summer
Images of Billie Eilish’s Air Jordan 1 KO cropped up online over the summer chriscolgan

Now, it appears Eilish is releasing not one, but two Jordan shoes—the Grinch-hued sneaker teased back in June, as well as a light tan Air Jordan 15 evoking “Kanye vibes,” according to images published this week by sites like Sneaker News.

Eilish’s Air Jordan 1 KO remakes the classic sneaker in solid neon green. The singer’s “Blohsh” stick figure emblem appears on the tongue and her name shows up printed on the insole. According to The Beet, the star’s mother, Maggie Baird, has claimed the shoes will be vegan. Eilish’s take on the Air Jordan 15 gives the distinctive sneaker a similarly monochrome makeover—this time in tan. Her name and logo again appear on the shoe’s insole and tongue.

Instagram accounts like zSneakerHeadz shared new images of Billie Eilish's Jordan collaboration this week
Instagram accounts like zSneakerHeadz shared new images this week of Billie Eilish’s Jordan collaboration, prompting one commenter to note the shoe’s “Kanye vibes.” zsneakerheadz

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Early reports have suggested the shoes are scheduled to drop Sept. 30—well after the unofficial Sept. 9 release date that sneaker sites threw around months ago. When asked for details on the upcoming styles, however, Nike said it could not confirm an official launch date yet as it is “continuing to maneuver through product delays.”

The latest Billie Eilish x Jordan visuals arrived amid a busy week for the hitmaker. After a controversial win at the VMAs Sunday, the 19-year-old made her Met Gala debut Monday decked out in an enormous, headline-grabbing Oscar de la Renta gown. The alliance between the vegan Gen Zer and storied fashion house proved particularly notable as it seems it has prompted the latter to go fur-free. Though anecdotal, the incident crystalizes the growing influence the star’s values-driven generation has on fashion.

“it was an honor to wear this dress knowing that going forward oscar de la renta will be completely fur-free!!!!” Eilish wrote on Instagram. “i am beyond thrilled that [creative directors Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim] and the entire team heard me on this issue, and have now made a change that makes an impact for the greater good, not only for animals but also for our planet and environment too. i’m honored to have been a catalyst and to have been heard on this matter. i urge all designers to do the same.”

News that Oscar de la Renta would ban fur first emerged last month. Animal-rights activist group PETA, which had for years coordinated runway disruptions and protests objecting to the label’s use of furs, celebrated the move.

“While nothing can bring back the many animals who were electrocuted, gassed, or otherwise killed for this fashion house’s profit, it’s never too late to do the right thing,” the organization wrote. “PETA is celebrating Oscar de la Renta for following the lead of other designers—and practically every department store—in cementing the demise of the cruel and grisly fur industry.”

This year has seen a number of major brands either phase out or announce plans to phase out their use of fur. Neiman Marcus plans to abandon the material by early 2023. Canada Goose has said it will cease purchasing fur by the end of this year and stop manufacturing with fur no later than the end of next year. Other names giving fur the axe include Valentino, Saks Fifth Avenue, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga.