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A Complete Retro History of the Air Jordan 3

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This weekend’s release of the Air Jordan 3 “Powder Blue” and the upcoming “Infrared 23” release in March indicates that the Air Jordan 3 may have permanently transported to a new phase of the shoe. The heralded OG colorways of the 3 – the Black/Cement, White/Cement, Fire Red, and True Blue – have all been re-released many times before, and barring a complete “Nike Air” return on all those colorways, it appears that there won’t be a need for an OG bringback any time soon. Jordan Brand has done a great job at re-imagining the classic Jordan shoes with new colorways, and although it my appear that new color-combos are all that’s on deck, remember that Jordan Brand started dabbling in new colorways over ten years ago.

The Air Jordan 3 was, in fact, one of the first “retroed” shoes, but it wasn’t until 2001’s release of the Air Jordan 3 “Mocha” that some new flavor was brought to that model (and did so in limited number). What followed was a series of colorways (even for women), and in 2014, we’re ready to open the door to the impressive “Dark Powder Blue” and OG-like “Infrared 23”. If you’re new to the game, check out this quick rundown of all the Retro colorways (that, not originated from ’88) and jot down a list of all the pairs you have in your personal collection.

Air Jordan 3 “Mocha”
Release Date: September, 2001

The Air Jordan 3 “Mocha” featured a rich, lifestyle-friendly arrangement of white and Dark Mocha, with the slightly altered elephant print offering up quite a new POV on the classic Jordan model.

Air Jordan 3 “Cool Grey”
Release Date: February, 2007

After a long hiatus, Jordan Brand introduced “Cool Grey” to the Air Jordan 3, bringing with it hints of orange and red around the shoes.

Air Jordan 3 “Flip”
Release Date: March, 2007

Taking a unique spin on the Air Jordan 3 was the “Flip”, which reversed the elephant print and pebbled leather placement.

Air Jordan 3 “Harbor Blue”
Release Date: March 2007

The first-ever Womens-only release was this clean “Harbor Blue” colorway.

Air Jordan 3 “DTRT”
Release Date: April, 2007

Celebrating Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” film was the Air Jordan 3 “DTRT”, which made use of colors from the movie poster.

Air Jordan 3 “Black Cat”
Release Date: May, 2007

Jordan Brand channeled MJ’s inner beast with the Black Cat in an all-black colorway. The shoes came with a poster.

Air Jordan 3 “Pure Money”
Release Date: May 2007

Playing the opposing role to the “Black Cat” is the “Pure Money”, which featured a dollar sign logo behind the heel-tab flap.

Air Jordan 3 “Silver Anniversary”
Release Date: May, 2010

The Air Jordan 3 in all-white released once again as part of 2010’s Silver Anniversary collection.

Air Jordan 3 “Doernbecher”
Release Date: December 2010

As part of the Doernbecher Freestyle Collection, the Air Jordan 3 served as the highlight release of that capsule. A 2013 restock would serve as a shocking revelation that Jordan Brand can, and will, re-release whatever it pleases.

Air Jordan 3 “BHM”
Release Date: February, 2011

Jordan Brand celebrated Black History Month with the Air Jordan 3 by adding tribal graphics in place of the elephant print and using gold contrast stitching to give it a visual edge.

Air Jordan 3 “Stealth”
Release Date: September, 2011

A new color combo, of grey, black, and red hit the Air Jordan 3 in September of 2011.

Air Jordan 3 “Black Flip”
Release Date: December, 2011

The “Flip” concept returned with a tonal-black colorway and hits of grey.

Air Jordan 3 “Bright Crimson”
Release Date: February, 2013

Hits of reflective materials gave this underrated Air Jordan 3 release some incredible pop.

Air Jordan 3 “Joker”
Release Date: February, 2013

Releasing as part of the 2013 NBA All-Star Pack, the “Joker” adapted the “Nightvision” theme in tandem with the Air Jordan XX8 debut.

Air Jordan 3 “Fear”
Release Date: August, 2013

The Air Jordan 3 was part of the “Fear Pack” of August, 2013.

Air Jordan 3 “Dark Powder Blue:
Release Date: January, 2014

Jordan Brand starts off 2014 with the “Dark Powder Blue” Air Jordan 3 – one of several confirmed releases for the Spring 2014 season.

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