Since debuting more than 30 years ago, the Nike Air Max 1 has undergone thousands of reincarnations and become one of the most beloved sneakers of all time. The Sketch to Shelf model heads back to the drawing board – literally – paying homage to the shoe’s designer Tinker Hatfield. It centres around Hatfield’s initial sketch for the Air Max 1 which kickstarted his most famous and enduring innovation: the visible air unit. A worthy way of honouring a legendary player in Nike’s rich history, this pair channels reverence and a wicked sense of humour.
The rough and ready construction of the sneaker lends it the essence of a sample, with rough off-white suede forming the uppers and mesh underlays offering a ‘toile’ aesthetic. Just like Hatfield’s original Air Max 1 blueprint, the Swoosh is finished in scribbled red, as is the strip that intersects the vamp and hefty midsole. Hatfield’s instantly recognisable all-caps handwriting labels various parts of the upper and – perhaps most importantly – references the now-iconic air unit with the words ‘big window’ for a perfect finishing touch and in-joke to boot.
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