YEAR III : 87' - 88'


Tinker Time

Tinker Hatfield began as an architect, and that influence shines through in his modern conception of shoe design. Undeniably the most celebrated sneaker designer in history, Tinker’s run of incredible shoes started in 1987 with the Air Max 1 (the first shoe with a visible air pocket) and the Jordan III (featuring the new Jumpman logo, visible air and elephant print.)

Like Jordan and Hatfield, Nike’s advertising team was also at the peak of their game. Each of these iconic shoes got a groundbreaking Nike ad. The Air Max 1 included the first TV ad featuring a Beatles song (Revolution), and the Jordan III kicked off the famous Spike Lee collaboration featuring his fast-talking Mars Blackmon character.

All the Hardware but One

Michael Jordan picked up right where he left off in 1987, showing unprecedented versatility and dominance. He became the first player in NBA history to win both the scoring title (35 points per game) and the Defensive Player of the Year honor (including a heady 3.16 steals per game).  These unparalleled contributions garnered him the league’s MVP  trophy. As if that weren’t enough, Chicago hosted the All-Star festivities and their hometown hero stole the show, bringing home both a breath-taking Slam Dunk win and the All-Star game MVP trophy.

The only hardware Jordan didn’t take home this season was the one he wanted most, the NBA Championship. The Bulls were inching closer, however, as they made it to the second round for the first time since 1981, before being knocked out by the Detroit Pistons. Part of their success was due to two great new rookies, Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen.


With Andy Warhol's death, the art and fashion worlds reeled. Designers threw back to bright colors and pop art, while higher-end luminaries like Stephen Sprouse saw success by using Warhol prints in designs. Sprouse and others created the uptown/downtown mixture that became popular all over. Lighter rappers like DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince embodied this aesthetic, and they released their first album "Rock the House." The wide range of topics in rap grew to include themes of black nationalism and Afrocentricity, homages to both the militancy of the Black Panthers and the Watts Prophets of the 1960s. All kinds of rap were showcased on MTV's newest offering, Yo! MTV Raps. Crack cocaine usage was such a huge problem with rappers and in the black community at large, a series of PSAs was launched to create awareness. Graffiti artist Keith Haring seized on this as well, with a mural in Harlem the year before.