The NBA season of 1987-1988 was outstanding both for Michael Jordan’s basketball career as well as for his signature shoe line with Nike. He was not only named NBA All-Star, but won the Slam Dunk Contest Title, the All-Star Game MVP Award, the NBA Steal AND Scoring Champion, the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and of course, the NBA Most Valuable Player award. Summarized, he secured all the league’s major honors possible – sure why not, after all, it’s His Airness himself. Throughout all this triumph, he was wearing the Air Jordan III.
Number three in Jordan’s signature shoe line was probably the sneaker which started it all. Every brand has its own story to tell – most argue that the release of the original Air Jordan III in 1988 finally started Jordan Brand’s success story. Designed by Nike legend Tinker Hatfield, MJ’s third signature shoe made the brand big and established its greatness. It was the first Jordan with Tinker on the team… and that was a pretty good decision! The designer combined the features of flexibility and stability, both strength provided by the first and the second Jordan, and formed a masterpiece. One of the dozen reasons why Tinker continued to be the man for MJ and his shoe line until the model of the Air Jordan XV. They made the look work, they made the shoe work, they made Jordan work – Tinker and Nike took His Airness’ signature shoe to a whole new level. An all time classic for an All Star legend.
The four original colorways are the magnum opus of the Air Jordan III. Released in Original White/Cement Grey, Original Black/Cement Grey, Original White/Fire Red and Original True Blues White/Cement Grey – True Blue, the True Blue was the true number one. They were the first Air Jordan to feature the famous elephant print on its upper, making the shoe exotic in a world of boring basketball sneakers. In addition, its unmistakable mid top silhouette introduced ballers to a whole new world of mid top styles. It was the first mid top model seen in the Air Jordan line and definitely not the last one. It was the first model seen in the Air Jordan line with a visible Nike Air unit. It was the first model seen with the iconic Jumpman Logo. The Air Jordan III was one of a kind in the Jordan Brand legacy.
It’s obvious. This shoe is special. Before climbing the top of sneaker-mountain, even the most special of sneakers needs people to take notice, though. After all, without the masses’ appreciation an icon never becomes an icon. So JB made sure that people would take notice. They got a certain someone to speak (a lot) for themselves and, of course, Michael Jordan.
With the introduction of the Air Jordan III, Mr. Mars Blackmon a.k.a. Reggie Miller’s BFF, Spike Lee made his first appearance in an AJ commercial. An iconic ad campaign was born. A campaign that helped skyrocket the AJ3’s commercial success, that, with the Air Jordan V, should later claim that Jordan’s success on the court could only be due to one item. “It’s gotta be da shoes”, Mars said (several times). “No, Mars”, Jordan replied (several times). It’s a classic. A classic, though, we might never have come across, had it not been for the Air Jordan III. And now, we’re about to stumble across another classic.
Last seen in 2011, the Air Jordan III True Blue returns to store shelves this Friday, on November 25th 2016. The sneaker community is thrilled about the highly anticipated return of one of the groundbreaking sneaker of all time. It’s the closest in form since its initial release in the 80s, remastered with the original “Nike Air” branding, a detail neither the 2001 release nor the ones in 2009 or 2011 featured.
The Jordan 3 True Blue is back! Stay tuned for on-feet pictures and the release infos of the iconic sneaker.
In cooperation with FIVE MAG! (credits: gettyimages.com)