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Retro Air Jordan Shoe Release Has Wicker Park Shoppers Camping Out

By Alisa Hauser | December 27, 2013 1:40pm
 Nike plans to release the Air Jordan 1 Retro Black/Red shoe on Saturday.
Air Jordan 1 Retro Black/Red
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WICKER PARK — The Saint Alfred shoe boutique hasn't even confirmed if it will have adult sizes of the iconic red-and-black sneaker that Chicago Bulls icon Michael Jordan wore in his rookie season available when Nike re-releases the classic shoe Saturday.

But the shop is attracting a line of shoppers anyway.

Twin brothers Carlos and Mario Puentes, both 16, were among six shoppers who said they are prepared to camp out all day and night on the sidewalk near the shoe and apparel shop at 1531 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park.

Both sophomores at Prosser High School, the brothers said they are hoping to be able to buy pairs of Nike's Air Jordan Retro 1 Black/Red kicks, which cost $140 each, when Saint Alfred opens on Saturday. 

Though Nike's re-release of the first Air Jordan shoe isn't until Saturday, a line began to form in front of the Wicker Park shoe store around 10:30 a.m. Friday. 

By 12:45 p.m. Friday the line had grown to 17 people.

First released in 1985 and worn by Jordan in his rookie season for the Chicago Bulls, the shoe is already sold out at Niketown at 669 N. Michigan Ave., which made the shoes available through RSVP on Twitter, a clerk said.

While men's shoes are sold out, the clerk said Niketown will have a limited quantity of children's Air Jordan Retros in size 3½ to 7 wide for boys and girls.

Frank DiGiovanni, manager of Saint Alfred, said that the shop will have kids sizes as well, but he could not confirm whether the store would get the men's shoes because quantities are "extremely limited."

While other stores hold raffles, lotteries or use Twitter, Saint Alfred has a first-come, first-served policy.

Thus, the men and women camped out near the shop — because Saint Alfred is prohibiting lines in front of its store — could walk away with no shoes after a 24-hour wait, DiGiovanni said.

It's a risk Rafael Ramos said he's willing to take.

"It's not guaranteed, but we're lining up now and hoping we are the people for" the shoes, Ramos said.

A 24-year-old retail clerk at the Brickyard Mall, Ramos wasn't even alive when the shoe was released.

"Since I was a kid, it's all about basketball. Before it's a shoe it's a basketball thing for me," said Ramos, who collects basketball shoes and said he owns about 50 pairs.