It was 1987 when the world first, err, ran into the Nike Air Max. The original was by Tinker Hatfield, actually an architect who started at Nike designing stores but eventually segued into sneakers (he’s now the company’s vice president of special projects and design).
But to celebrate the shoe’s 30th anniversary, NikeLab, the division that collaborates with outside innovators, turned to names big and small. Arthur Huang, Marc Newson, and Riccardo Tisci each contributed designs.
Another initiative, Vision-Airs: Experiments in Style, tapped students from top fashion schools—Central Saint Martins, Domus Academy, and Parsons School of Design—to envision garments that interpret the latest Air Max: the VaporMax, the lightest, most cushioned and flexible model to date. The creation by Paula Cánovas, who’s earning a master’s in fashion, was quite high-minded: “Even though I’m a textile designer, I like 3-D—fabrics that create shape,” she says, “this in particular referencing sculptor Lars Englund.”