Jordan Brand Takes Over Former Tati Barbès Department Store in Paris for ‘District 23’ Community Hub This Summer

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Jordan Brand has taken over an old Parisian department store for a new summer activation.

According to the Nike-owned athletic brand, it has opened District 23 – described by the company as a “love letter to the diasporic cultures and international youth who inform basketball and all its dimensions” – inside the historic former Tati Barbès department store in Paris’ diverse 18th arrondissement.

Jordan Brand said in a release that the project takes form over a six-week stretch of programming that District 23 creative director Youssouf Fofana has cultivated inside and around the former store.

“This entire project is dedicated to the youth of this neighborhood and neighborhoods like it around the world,” Fofana, a frequent Jordan Brand collaborator and founder of the Maison Château Rouge fashion brand,” said in a statement. “My hope was that by amplifying the 18th arrondissement to the world, we could elevate the community members’ collective pursuit to change the narrative and empower them to create a new legacy not just for themselves but for the future generations coming behind them.”

To that end, Fofana has created an immersive “summer school” curriculum for dozens of young creatives who will dive deep into design and technical skills, along with the intricacies of starting a brand, in an intensive program inspired by Fofana’s journey to becoming a designer while growing up surrounded by Paris’ African diaspora.

That path was untraditional, including a pivot from a career working in a bank to collaborating with his brother on a nonprofit providing opportunities for local artisans in their parents’ native Senegal. Born from this work was Maison Château Rouge, through which Fofana would later collaborate with Jordan Brand on the AJ1 Mid SE Fearless and an AJ2.

Jordan Brand, District 23, Tati Barbès, Paris, Jordan
The library space inside Jordan Brand’s District 23 in Paris.

“The coolest kids in my neighborhood were the ones who wore Jordan Brand, and Michael Jordan was who we all aspired to be, so it was a dream come true to be able to work with them on the AJ1, then again on the AJ2 and apparel collection inspired by my program United Youth International,” Fofana added. “District 23 feels like our biggest collaboration yet that brings the story we’ve been telling full circle.”

In an exclusive partnership with Foot Locker, Jordan Brand will also provide all Parisian youth access to basketball courts and other outdoor spaces for sport, with programming that uses movement as a gateway to learning creative skills.

Jordan Brand, District 23, Tati Barbès, Paris, Jordan
The workshop space inside Jordan Brand’s District 23 in Paris.

By keeping several courts open across the summer, the local community can have access to the outdoor spaces they’re used to without the disruption many are experiencing throughout the city because of the summer Olympics.

Among the key spaces Fofana identified for District 23 are Paris Basket 18, a women’s basketball club, and Square Leon, a staple park at the center of the 18th arrondissement where many sports are played, including chess, basketball and global football. At all parks included in District 23, the community will be able to participate in 1v1 basketball tournaments, open play and shootarounds throughout the summer.

Youssouf Fofana, Jordan Brand, District 23, Tati Barbès, Paris, Jordan
District 23 creative director Youssouf Fofana.

Fofana and Jordan Brand family member Easy Otabor, owner of Chicago’s Anthony Gallery, have also curated the Diaspora Renaissance exhibition, which invites the world into the former Tati Barbès space to experience the global, interconnected nature of diasporic communities from across Africa, Asia and Latin America through contemporary works from 23 artists, including Gabriel Moses, Alvin Armstrong and Maty Biayenda. As part of the exhibition, six artists were commissioned to produce their interpretation of the AJ1 through a diasporic lens to bring to life what the iconic shoe means to the culture.

In addition to art, District 23 will pay homage to the gastronomy of the 18th arrondissement by highlighting recipes, restaurants and food collectives that elevate cultural traditions.

Plus, around the corner from the former Tati Barbès building, sneaker enthusiasts and basketball fans will also be able to experience the region’s first Foot Locker x Jordan store featuring Jordan Brand’s best curation of products and community experiences.

Jordan Brand, District 23, Tati Barbès, Paris, Jordan
Inside Jordan Brand’s District 23 in Paris.

“It’s hard to imagine what’s possible for yourself without having the knowledge and references to look back to,” Fofana added. “District 23 is the memento we want to leave behind for youth from the 18th arrondissement to always reference as they achieve all that they dream.”

Local community members can navigate District 23 using an immersive guide available on the Nike App.

More updates are expected in the coming weeks on Jordan’s celebration of basketball culture this summer in Paris.

Jordan Brand, District 23, Tati Barbès, Paris, Jordan
Jordan Brand’s District 23 in Paris.

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