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Football's biggest stage, music's biggest artist and the sneaker industry's most lauded designer. Justin Timberlake debuted the Air Jordan III "JTH" during his halftime show performance in Minnesota, and the sneaker is a physical manifestation of the artist's love for the Jordan Brand and his respect for designer Tinker Hatfield. In the latest Behind the Design, we get insights from Timberlake on what the Jordan Brand and the collaboration mean to him.
You’ve created with Jordan before (Legends of the Summer). Why did now make sense for the next chapter?

"A couple of reasons come to mind," says Timberlake. "First and foremost, I grew up idolizing Mike, and ever since we met, he and I have always had a great relationship. Working together with his team to make shoes that we love was always something we wanted to do. So when we had success with the 'Legends', we knew we would have to find another great moment to do that again. This album, and really this specific performance, felt like the right, and even bigger and better, moment to collaborate. Even more importantly, now that I have a son, I really want to make things that can be handed down to him and timeless, so that they remain relevant for three, four generations. I think the Jordan brand's work and track record has spoken for itself in being able to do that for the sneaker culture."
Why is the Jordan Brand special to you?

"Mike is one of the few athletes, and now one of the few brands, that has been able to span across multiple generations. “Be Like Mike” isn't just a slogan, but a real state of mind that epitomizes and revolves around the greatest athlete to ever do it," says Justin.

What’s your favorite Jordan moment featuring Jordan Brand shoes or MJ himself?

"Wow, I mean, there are a ton that are beautiful in just their architecture and form, but I've always found myself coming back to the 3's, mostly because you could really wear them with anything. Then, when I got to actually meet Tinker, a true genius, and learn that the Jordan 3 was the first design he had done with the brand, and that he actually removed the swoosh from the original design because he felt like Michael could carry the brand on his own, it made it feel even more iconic. Not to mention, we all got to watch him dunk from the free throw line in that shoe."
What makes the Air Jordan III "Tinker" special?

"Being a sneakerhead and wanting to know the history behind why the different air Jordans were designed the way they were and then getting to see the original design that Tinker sketched up while also knowing his history with the Air Max, it really feels like a hybrid of of those classic models. It’s like if Ferrari made a hybrid between an F430 and 612 Scaglietti. By the way...Ferrari, if you’re reading this, you should totally do that."
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