How the Nike Air Max 1 Got Its Look
The design of this shoe starts in Oregon in 1981 and with a man called Tinker Hatfield. He was an architect for Nike, hired to draw up offices and showrooms on the company’s campus. After making a statement on the outside
of buildings, he was asked to join the designers on the inside. In a race to develop sneakers, a former NASA engineer had recently introduced the idea of sealing air bubbles in the soles for extra comfort
and performance. But competition was fierce and Nike still
needed an edge. Hatfield headed to Paris in search of inspiration. While he was there he visited the Pompidou Centre, a radical building famous for its inside out design, which exposed the building’s components like escalators and heating pipes for everyone to see. Hatfield decided to apply the same principle to his own design, revealing the inner workings of his shoe by making the air cushioning system visible. The marketing team thought the air bubble would seem like a weakness, but the Nike Air Max 1 was an instant hit when it launched in 1987. Originally pairs sold for $75, now they
go for double that. Today Tinker Hatfield is one of the most successful shoes designers in the world. He even created those legendary self-lacing sneakers of Back to the Future fame. Stylish and innovative, this is the design
that stayed one step ahead, simply by being turned inside out.