Straight from the Sahara: Air Jordan 3 “Desert Elephant”

Tinker Hatfield’s Air Jordan 3 was first released in 1988, and with it, the masses were introduced to the wonderful world of elephant print. In hopes of getting Michael Jordan to stay with Nike, the then-green designer was tasked with granting his wishes for the third signature model – he wanted something that was mid-cut, had soft leather, and was durable enough to handle the rigors of a full NBA season.

With those specifications met, Hatfield tinkered around with additional materials and settled on the now-iconic elephant print to add some lifestyle sophistication to the performance model. All four of the model’s original colorways featured the animalistic embossed leather at the mudguards and heel panels.

Now, more than 30 years after the silhouette’s initial launch, Jordan Brand is bringing back the original “Black Cement” Air Jordan 3 with a new Sahara-tinted twist.

The upcoming Air Jordan 3 “Desert Elephant” features a tumbled leather upper done in black, with luxe brown leather mudguards and heel panels, which are lightly textured to mimic the original elephant print. Perforated suede done in a light “Fossil Stone” hue accents the panels around the eyestays and ankle collars.

While earth tones make up the majority of the palette, bright “Rush Orange” hits arrive at the lowermost eyestays, tongue lining, and the tongue’s embroidered Jumpman logo to liven things up. Additional branding includes a rubberized Jumpman logo at the sneaker’s TPU heel tab.

Jordan Brand opts for a “Sail” foam midsole to compliment the neutral base – it features black accents around the heel portion. Rubber outsoles done in “Fossil Stone” finish things off.

Interested in copping? Head over to your nearest DTLR location or on July 30th.