Michael B. JordanPhoto: BFA
To watch Michael B. Jordan’s ascension to Hollywood A-lister and now, the first global face of Coach Men’s—a face that just happens to be black—is astonishing.
Michael Bakari Jordan, we stan.
On Tuesday, Jordan was fresh-to-death (which is now to be expected of the actor) at a Spring 2020 Coach runway show during New York Fashion Week. The multi-hyphenate star was joined by celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion and Kyrie Irving, among others. Perhaps most importantly, the 32-year-old brought interns from his Outlier Society Fellowship initiative (Outlier Society being Jordan’s production company) as well as high school students from his hometown of Newark, N.J. I bore witness to some of the high school girls’ reactions—their excitement was palpable. To some of the students, I imagine meeting Jordan was a dream.
Jordan officially became the first global face of Coach Men’s in 2019. As a black man, he says his role at Coach Men’s is groundbreaking. “It feels good,” Jordan told The Root. “Hopefully, I won’t be the last. Hopefully, it’s like something that starts to set more of a trend here.”
But beyond the world of fashion, the actor and producer is all about breaking new ground; it’s his forté.
Jordan understands the importance of inclusion and equal representation in Hollywood. In 2018, Jordan announced that he’d be taking the lead on a new Warner Bros. diversity and inclusion initiative, a new policy applied to Jordan’s most recent film, Just Mercy. The Black Panther actor plays Bryan Stevenson—a Harvard-educated lawyer who defends a black man who was wrongly sentenced to death. Jordan first became aware of the true story after watching Stevenson’s TED talk.
“For me, after hearing about him [Bryan Stevenson], when the project came about it was like, I’ve got to use my platform the best way I know how. The best way I can get this project—his story to the masses. Because if I didn’t know, then I know there’s a lot of people that didn’t know as well.”
You see, Jordan is giving back, changing systems and using his platform to inform and lift others. But how, exactly, did the actor trample the archaic systems Hollywood to make a diversity initiative for Just Mercy? Jordan said that it ironically came with ease.
“It’s so crazy, a lot of people have these horrible stories, and all these obstacles that they had to overcome and kind of get to this place. I mean honestly, I just I bear the fruits of that labor because it was very easy.” Jordan says that Outlier Society and Warner Brothers collaborated to write all of Warner media’s inclusion policy, which applies to subsequent Warner Bros. productions. The Creed star calls it a “huge win.”
“So for me, honestly it was the right time, the right project, the right situation, the right people involved in it all kind of came together. It was pretty seamless. It took some time you know, but it all happened without that much resistance.”
One can’t help but wonder: Does Jordan ever feel objectified? After all, he appears to be much more than a sex symbol. Beyond the handsome chocolate face, bright white smile, popping six-pack and butter-soft skin (I’m guessing) exists depth, and, as evidenced by his decisions and recent moves, a social consciousness. Does the actor ever feel ‘a way’ when the media and folks on social refer to him as Michael “Bae” Jordan?
“It’s cool,” the actor told The Root. “It all comes from a good place, so love is love.”
Michael “Bae” Jordan it is.