Concept Lab // Air Jordan 3 “Safari”
Take a walk on the wild side.
Tinker Hatfield had some serious guile to present a sneaker draped in elephant print to Michael Jordan back in 1988. Perhaps he banked on the success of his Nike Air Sarafi the year prior, which donned textured Cheetah prints on its mudguard. But still. It was a totally wild concept — in both senses of the word.
And it worked.
Tinker’s creative genius hooked Mike, who was contemplating a move to adidas after a lackluster start with the Swoosh. It’s why many consider the Air Jordan 3 the most historically important silhouette of the signature line; without it, the Air Jordan range would never have truly taken flight.
But what if Tinker took the Air Jordan 3 design deeper into the jungle? There’s a ton of different wild animals Hatfield could have drawn inspiration from; Tigers, Lions, Cheetas, Snakes and even Zebras. Why stop at the Elephant? atmos and Ronnie Fieg’s wild animal-inspired mash-ups still hold insane levels of clout years down the track.
For today’s concept, we’re exploring the depths of Africa, complete with beige canvas uppers — the fabric of choice for scorching hot days in the African grasslands. The obvious callout is the eye-popping Zebra print on the overlays, paired with complimentary hits of black on the sole unit, tongue, lace stays, and liner. And it wouldn’t be true to the host continent without vibrant pops of color; this time we’ve opted for a rich red on the Jumpmen, eyelets, outsole and Nike Air Branding on the heel.
This is definitely a concept we’ll be exploring further, looking at different materials and furs in the near future — so stay tuned for that!
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Air Jordan 3 “Safari”
From the HOUSE OF HEAT Concept Lab