According to a new piece by Jordan Brand in which collectors and designers asked Tinker Hatfield questions about the Air Jordan 3, the Swoosh seen on the “Tinker” edition of the shoe was very close to becoming standard issue.
“I thought the Swoosh looked good on the shoe,” Hatfield said. “It was designed to have a Swoosh—that’s why it works; there’s a good place for it.”
The logo appeared in early sketches of the design, and even rough prototype form. But when it came time to show the finished product to Michael Jordan, Hatfield made the decision to leave the Swoosh off. He opted for the now-ubiquitous Jumpman, which he envisioned representing Jordan’s own brand. “No one knew, as I had made the call last minute.”
Ironically, that decision also led to one of the shoe’s most beloved and debated features—its "Nike Air" branding on the heel. “It was an argument with some people in marketing at the time, so I threw them a bone and put Nike on the back,” Hatfield explained.
The 3 was the first Air Jordan model designed by Hatfield, and is widely credited with helping to keep Jordan with Nike at a contentious time in the pair’s relationship. A “Tinker” edition, featuring a Swoosh, is scheduled to drop on March 24, preceded by the original Black / Cement colorway on Feb. 17, and a special “Free Throw Line” edition of the White / Cement colorway on Feb. 14.