The return of a 1980s design classic


1987 was a memorable year for many things…

- The launch of the original versions of the Street Fighter and Final Fantasy games
- The crisis and panic related to falling prices in the stock market
- Thomas Knoll and John Knoll develop the first version of Photoshop
- Iconic movies such as: Wall Street, Robocop, Lethal Weapon, and Fatal Attraction amongst others

For many those events and others in that year fade into obscurity, because in 1987 a guy called Tinker Hatfield, a designer who was little known outside of Oregon USA designed a classic training shoe called Air Max for Nike.

It is difficult to say that one particular thing could put a company ‘on the map’ nevertheless the Air Max has crossed over from a training shoe to a cultural artefact that many very well be spoken about with curiosity by our descendants in hundreds of years hence (providing that we haven’t all blown each other to cosmic dust by then).

For now Nike, like many other companies have gone back to a formula that they know has worked, and there is a real conflict here, because a company founded on true innovation must always be looking to take the next leap forwards, and a company that understands its customers will always listen to them.

It may have been the retailer Marshall Field who first said, ‘the customer is always right.’ Or words to that effect… and there is no doubt that the return to the first version of the Air Max will cause joy and delight for many, and will remain a classic for the foreseeable future.


Return of the original Nike Air Max

Company: Nike

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