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How Jordan Brand is Paying Tribute to the AJ3

Devin Robertson

Anniversaries for Jordan releases are commonplace at this point. With 37 models in its signature history, Jordan Brand is constantly celebrating a sneaker. This is the way that anniversary releases typically go: the sneaker sees a glut of new colorways and collabs and the return of a vaunted colorway to go with it. 2022 marked the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan 2, and it got a similar treatment, with the year being filled with a wave of fire collaborations from Union, J. Balvin, Maison Chateau Rouge, and A Ma Maniere, to name a few. The year concluded with the return of the classic Air Jordan 2 “Chicago,” bookending the wave that started with the late Virgil Alboh’s remix of the White and Red low colorway in late 2021. 

The Air Jordan 3 is gearing up for its 35th anniversary, and while there are sure to be new colorways of the iconic shoe arriving this year, the way Jordan Brand is celebrating the sneaker’s anniversary is novel. The iconic colorways of the Air Jordan 3 are being ported to where it all began as an ode to one of the most storied sneakers in Jordan’s closet. To begin the year, Nike is starting off with the Air Jordan 1 “True Blue,” which draws inspiration from the classic Air Jordan 3 colorway of the same name.

The AJ3 “True Blue” is mostly white with gray accents on the toe, heel, and eyelets and blue on the midsole, lining, and heel logo. The Air Jordan 1 “True Blue” includes the important elements but gives the color its own twist. The blue is on the toe and eyelets, while the gray is on the ankle and heel, giving it a reversal of the original look. The upcoming colorway has everything the Air Jordan 3 “True Blue” does without the signature elephant print. 

That’s where the upcoming Air Jordan 1 “White Cement” comes into play. With the original colorway set to make its return in a “Reimaged” style aged like the recent “Lost and Found,” the Air Jordan 1 “White Cement” is the perfect sibling to the silhouette. The White Cement 3’s are mostly white sneakers, with the standout features being the grey cement print found around the toe and on the heel.

The subtle usage of the iconic elephant-like print is one of the biggest draws of the sneaker, but the Air Jordan 1 “White Cement” is laying subtlety to the wayside. Similar to how the Air Jordan 1 “True Blue” flipped the typical order of the colors, so does the Air Jordan 1 “White Cement,” the sneaker comes with a white tumbled leather base and gray cement overlays, turning the lowkey accents into center stage affairs. 

After 35 years, it is interesting to see how the minds at Jordan Brand continue to breathe new life into these sneakers that we’ve loved for so long. Even when it feels like every story that can be told has been, all it takes is a new perspective to revitalize the tale. One can only wonder what tricks they have in store for the Air Jordan 4 next year. 

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