When we see purple and green together on a sneaker, most of us instantly think of one of the most well-known characters in television history—Barney the Dinosaur. This was truly evident when news of Nike’s purple and green Dunk Low colourway hit the internet. The colour combination immediately sparked nostalgia among fans, who were quick to dub it the “Barney” Nike Dunk Low. However, those who had come to know these sneakers as the “Reverse Joker” weren’t as thrilled by the comparison. That’s why we here at Fortress propose a Barney-inspired sneaker with a more obvious connection—introducing the Barney Air Jordan 1. Coming straight from the vivid imagination of Fortress of Solitude’s very own Brandon Krige, these AJ1 concepts are a playful and nostalgic tribute to the beloved purple dinosaur (no need to search for any hidden messages here).
Taking inspiration from one of the most beloved children’s characters of the 90s, the Barney Air Jordan 1 features a vibrant colourway that perfectly captures the essence of the giant anthropomorphic Tyrannosaurus rex. White forms the base of the upper, with the toe box, tongue, mid-panels, and midsole all covered in the crisp shade. The right sneaker features green on the mudguard and eye stays, while purple takes over the heel, overlays, and outsole. However, these colours are reversed on the left sneaker, adding a little more interest to the design.
To add a bit more flair to the shoe, the design incorporates Barney’s signature green spots on the toe box and tongue as a nod to his iconic appearance. The sneaker also includes a graphic from the hit show on the mid-panel and the signature Barney logo on the tongue label adding an extra touch of nostalgia to the look. This further celebrates the beloved character and seals the connection between the shoe and Barney’s enduring legacy.
Adding some much-needed contrast, the laces, Nike Swoosh, and collar embrace a black hue to create a bold, sleek look. The black accents perfectly complement the vibrant purple and green elements, giving the shoe a modern and stylish aesthetic. Finally, a hint of yellow comes through via the wing’s insignia on the ankle flap, adding a pop of colour reminiscent of Barney’s six yellow toe claws (yes, the detail is that intricate!).
Overall, the Barney Air Jordan 1 perfectly combines the vibrant purple and green hues we’ve all come to associate with the friendly dinosaur with playful details that aim to capture the essence of Barney’s character. All this sneaker is missing is a reference to Barney’s most iconic tune, “I love you, you love me,” to hit all the nostalgic notes (I had to try my very hardest not to start singing this catchy tune while writing this; needless to say, I failed).
While this “super dee-duper” design is only a concept, we always appreciate a fresh and imaginative take on nostalgic icons from our childhood. The Barney Air Jordan 1 concept brings a sense of fun and nostalgia to the world of sneaker culture, reminding us of the joy and innocence of our childhood memories. A shoutout to Barney for making our early years so colourful and magical!