Celebrating a true footwear icon, Nike’s all-new Air Max 1 ‘Sketch to Shelf’ edition reworks the iconic silhouette in a guise inspired by designer Tinker Hatfield’s original artwork.
Initially employed by Nike as an architect, Hatfield started his career designing buildings for Nike’s Oregon campus in 1981 – not branching out into the world of footwear design until 1985. The Air Max 1 is arguably his most famous design and the story goes that Tinker drew inspiration from the eccentric Centre Pompidou in Paris, where the clear architecture allowed you to see the inner workings of the cultural destination.
The building’s design struck a chord with his architectural background and inspired the exposed air bubble aesthetic of the Air Max 1. Although Air-tech had been present inside the midsole’s of several of Nike’s releases in the years previous – debuting in Frank Rudy’s 1978 Air Tailwind – the general consensus was that the shock-absorbing feature should be felt but not seen.
But Hatfield ignored his peers, and in 1987 the Air Max 1’s release revolutionised the footwear world. Going on to inspire a heap of Air Max models since, it was the first shoe from Nike to feature a visible air unit in the midsole, which provided a window into the cushioning technology at work.
Admiring the model’s famed design, this ‘Sketch to Shelf’ iteration dresses the silhouette with an unpolished, hand-drawn aesthetic. Lifted straight from Hatfield’s rough sketches, scribble-like patterning makes up the pair’s mesh and suede uppers, with the signature red mudguard and Swooshes filled with an uneven pen stroke style.
The doodled design features additional personal touches, such as the handwritten wording throughout the uppers, while the inside of the sock-liner warns “SKETCH, PROPERTY OF NIKE, NOT FOR RESALE”. The drawn-in look continues underfoot with the model’s translucent outsole highlighting further design sketches, and the usual air-fuelled midsole ensures you’ll be comfy all day long.
The Nike Air Max 1 Tinker ‘Sketch to Shelf’ will be available on Saturday 20th July via the size? website and in selected size? stores, priced at £130 and available in both men’s and women’s sizes.