Ben Baller

Favorite Model: Air Jordan III
Twitter: @BenBaller

I have to say after being able to get both the Air Jordan 1 in the 6th grade (and barely making the fit of a 6.5 to make the Air — not the Sky — Jordan was a big deal) then in 7th grade to be able to get the Jordan II which I heard was designed in Italy made me feel blessed in life like I was already down with high fashion.

But I had a few small jobs as a teenager, one was working in a deli, and when the III's came out, $100 was a LOT of money to me. Shit, minimum wage back then was like $3.50 an hour! So it would take me about two weeks of work after taxes just to get that one pair! That's when my favorite director at the time Spike Lee (my brother was a big film buff and I got to see cool independent films like "She's Gotta Have It") directed the commercial for the IIIs, "Is It The Shoes?" so when the commercial dropped, I was like hot damn I need these. I remember getting them at Foot Locker in West L.A.. I could only afford one pair and it was a big deal. This was an expensive shoe and even at Beverly Hills High not everyone had them. it was a baller's dream to cop these...

Then later, around spring break time, I went to Palm Springs with some friends and washed some cars and was able to get the white ones. Fuck, I thought I had just got myself some Hermes. THIS WAS THE FIRST SHOE THAT I NOTICED BREAKING NECKS AROUND KOREATOWN TO BEVERLY HILLS TO PALM SPRINGS! Everyone would stop. It was nuts... the design is perfect, not too low as a low top and not something high. I always loved a midtop/low shoe and it's crazy, the only time I liked hightop kicks was around 2006-2009 when it was the fad to show the tongues out. So overall, the III is the greatest to me, but the IV is really close. I also have to shout out the 1 because it's the OG and real OG's fuck with 1's. I hate the retro game though, so much love to NIKE for finally putting out these 88s with the NIKE AIR on the back.