THE NIKE AIR MAX IS PROOF THAT WHEN REVOLUTION MEETS EVOLUTION, A DYNASTY IS BORN. TURNING THINGS INSIDE OUT IN 1987, IT WAS THE FIRST TO SHOW VISIBLE AIR, STARTING A DESIGN REVOLUTION THAT CHALLENGED THE STATUS QUO. WHAT BEGAN IN SPORT AND BECAME ROOTED IN CULTURE IS BEING REDEFINED BY THOSE WHO WEAR IT .
1987 is the year when Nike Air became visible as Nike opened the window to its sole. In the era of more — more money, more drums, more jewelry, more hair and bigger phones — the Nike Air Max 1 delivered the maximum in terms of performance and innovative color. A barely concealed Swoosh design completed a Tinker Hatfield creation inspired by contemporary Parisian architecture — inspiration unlocking design. Spotted in marathons and on LP sleeves as performance crossed into other modes of performance, the proof that Nike Air was there changed everything. Coinciding with the rise of the rebel athlete, many of the era’s innovations are a punchline now, but the Nike Air Max 1 remains relevant. A revolution through re-invention.
Air Max 90
A new decade was there to be written — new aesthetics and new athletic norms. Building on the precedents already set was a tough brief, but the Nike Air Max 90 may have amassed the highest mileage of any Nike Air Max shoe at road running and street level posing. So wild with the gas it had to be separated, front and rear compartments defined the new design and it was cocky enough to half-eclipse that Swoosh design branding too. A new stance in urban style as well as the shoe’s shape meant the bold acc ent colors were instantly acc epted into an evolving realm where expression, self-knowledge and tough talk met. Men squeezed into women’s styles and women sized up into men’s editions — this is a creation that blurred gender lines.
Air Max 95
1995’s entry in the Nike Air Max dynasty was the most dramatic redux to date, but the mission to maximize cushioning remained. Arriving at a time of excess in music, fashion and the antics of athletes, an appetite for extravagance created an environment where the Nike Air Max 95 thrived. Those biomechanics, forefoot Nike Air, PSI markings, Swoosh design branding confined to a mark on the heel, the price — it represented a departure from everything — let alone a shoe — that had come before. An open-minded Far Eastern audience understood immediately. The rest needed a minute to absorb the look before letting it absorb their body weight. After the Nike Air Max 95, the next wave of must-have gadgets arrived with offbeat color and emphasis on transparency — coincidence or influence?
Air Max 97
The Nike Air Max series was born at a time when big was best, but a decade later, it mattered even more. The question in 1997 wasn’t just who won, who competed or who broke a personal best — now it was about who was the world’s fastest. In the quest for more cushioning and visibility, the Nike Air Max 97 ran straight into a pre-millennial moment of hedonism. If it shone it mattered back then, but to shine with substance was something else altogether. So self-assured that the Swoosh design was merely a stitched mark on those clinical curves and with more Nike Air than ever via a full-length unit, it was excess compressed into a bullettrain- styled masterpiece. This model reflected the era, figuratively and literally.