Air Jordan 3
In 1987, Michael Jordan’s contract with Nike was up for renegotiation. After the Air Jordan II’s lukewarm reception, the partnership was on the rocks and pressure to nail the next design was intensifying. With a grand total of one sneaker design to his name, rookie designer Tinker Hatﬁ eld – previously employed as Nike’s corporate architect – stepped up to the plate. It was a brave call on Nike’s part, but the move would pay dividends for years to come. Tinker not only smashed the Air Jordan III out of the park, he also convinced Mike to stay with Nike. The mid-cut silhouette was poetry in motion and the addition of Visible Air (from the ﬁrst Air Max runner) to the sole was revelatory. Inspired by MJ’s ﬂamboyant style, the new Jumpman logo and ‘elephant print’ gave the shoe an all-important telegenic presence. The AJIII ushered in a bold new era. Jordan earned his ﬁrst MVP nomination and the cult campaign featuring Spike Lee as Mars Blackmon laid the cultural foundations for Jordan’s superhero persona. To this day, the ‘Black/Cement’ Air Jordan III is regarded by many sneakerheads as the quintessential Jordan.