Don C - aka Chicago's own Don Crawley - has become quite a ubiquitous name in sneaker and streetwear culture.
Many have caught wind of the serious hype surrounding his sneaker collaborations with Jordan brand, and sneakerheads credit him with single-handedly rescuing the Jordan 2 model from its long period of obscurity and neglect (in comparison to the iconic Jordan 1, 3 and 4 models).
His fashion fingerprint is everywhere these days, but Don C the man is still a mystery to most. How did he rise to the upper echelon of luxury cut-and-sew sportswear, and what's with the insane hype surrounding his Just Don x Air Jordan 2?
Don C was once a fill-in DJ and tour manager for Kanye West and eventually, an executive at the G.O.O.D. Music label. The two Chicagoans have such a close relationship that Complex once called Don C Kanye's "consigliere" back in 2013. They were so tight that they were arrested together in 2008 for reportedly brawling with paparazzi and breaking their cameras at LAX.
After the legal troubles subsided, Don C turned his attention towards fashion full time. Using experience he gleaned as a part-owner of Chicago's RSVP Gallery, Just Don was founded in 2011 as a cut-and-sew imprint, featuring throwback Mitchell & Ness NBA apparel and snapback caps with crazy brim treatments like snake and alligator skins.
In spite of the exorbitant price tags ($450 for a snapback, upwards of $1500 for varsity jackets) Just Don quickly filled a high end streetwear niche and generated a cult following.
Celebrities such as Rihanna, Jay Z and Carmelo Anthony rocking Just Don gear certainly didn't hurt either....
In 2014, word got out that Don C and Jordan Brand were working on a Jordan 2 collaboration, a collab that would mark a huge shift for both parties involved. For Nike and Jordan, it was a sign that they were committed to the premium materials movement. For Don C, it was hard proof that he was a serious player on the field of streetwear fashion.
The first Just Don Jordan 2 to release was the varsity royal blue "Quilted" pair in January of 2015, which was inspired by a vintage Chanel quilted handbag. It wasn't just a mere success...despite a $275 price point, the release was one of the most hectic and hyped in recent memory.
Resellers racked up thousands of dollars above retail price, and to this day, the "Quilted" pair sells for between $1500-2000 on consignment and resale websites.
Naturally, a follow up was soon in the works. The Just Don Jordan 2 "Beach" was released in 2016 in a luscious creamy sand colorway in a special edition box for $650, complete with a matching Just Don snapback and gold pin.
While the "Beach" colorway isn't as profitable on the resale market, it's still a safe bet you'll have to part with around $1000 to snag them now.
The third installment in the Just Don x Jordan collaboration might just take the cake for the most hyped of the three sneakers. Coming in a tasty "Arctic Orange" colorway for $350, the latest Don C Jordan 2 just dropped in very limited quantities at a Just Don pop-up in Los Angeles on Mothers' Day.
It was initially rumored (thanks to massive sneakerhead DJ Khaled) that the "Arctic Orange" 2s would only come in kids' and womens' sizing. But Don C just revealed via Instagram that there will be a full mens' sizing run releasing some time soon.
Don C Jordan 2's for the whole family!
Don C's career has definitely taken a bunch of twists and turns and corkscrews in the last decade, but he's always found a way to more-than-successfully reinvent himself.
Just as Kanye left for Adidas, Nike scooped up the creative vision of his former "consigliere" in the clutch. Now in 2017, you could maybe make the argument that the "consigliere" Don C is up there with Yeezy in the rarefied air of the sneaker game. It's hard to imagine where Nike/Jordan Brand would be right now without his influence...
Check out footage from the Just Don L.A. pop-up below and stay tuned for more release information on the "Arctic Orange" 2s, and keep your eye out for new Don C designs on his Instagram.