The Air Jordan III was designed by Tinker Hatfield. This was the shoe that "saved" the Air Jordan line. Michael Jordan was ready to leave Nike, but the Jordan III changed his mind. It was the first Air Jordan to feature a visible air unit on the heel, the new Jumpman logo, an elephant print trim and tumble leather to give it a luxury look. The Air Jordan III was also famous for the humorous ads depicting Spike Lee as Mars Blackmon, the character he played in his film 'She's Gotta Have It'. This campaign was known as the "Mars and Mike" ad campaign, which was one of Nike's most successful advertisement campaigns. These were the first Jordans to feature the "NIKE AIR" logo on the back, but later replaced by the Jumpman logo, with the words "AIR" underneath it, similar to the Air Jordan VI. These were said to be Michael Jordan's favorite shoes, he wore them during the 1988 Dunk Championship and many other events in his basketball career. The Air Jordan III's had poor sales when first reintroduced in 1994. On their second reintroduction in 2001, they sold well. The "Fire Red" Air Jordan III was released in March 2007.
In 2007, Jordan Brand collaborated with director Spike Lee to release a limited pair of Air Jordan III's the Do The Right Thing movie poster. The same year also saw the reintroduced versions of the Air Jordan III's in two monotone colorways, all black and all white, nicknamed the "Black Cats" and the "Pure Moneys" respectively. 2007 also had the "Flips" which moved the elephant print from the trim to the entire shoe and replacing it with white leather, indeed "Flipping" the original design of white leather with elephant print trim.
In 2009, the Jordan Brand reintroduced the highly sought after Air Jordan III in the True Blue colorway. It was an international-only release, meaning they were not sold in the US. In 2011, the brand released a Black History Month (BHM) Air Jordan III colorway in commemoration of the 35th anniversary of Black History Month. The sneaker is black with gold trim and stitching as well as laser print around the toe and heel. The BHM III was a very limited release and there was said to have been no more than 3,000 pairs made. Also, the same year saw the release of the "True Blue" III on June 4. The Stealth colorway of the III was released in September and the Black Cements were released in November. The "Black Flips" were released on December 3, 2011.
The Air Jordan III was originally released in 1988. It was retroed in 1994, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.