To celebrate the 30th anniversary of NIKE’s AIR MAX running shoe, three acclaimed creatives have reinterpreted the iconic sneaker in their own distinctive way. Industrial designer Marc Newson, fashion designer Riccardo Tisci, and engineer/architect Arthur Huang have all elevated aspects of different AIR MAX styles — from the AIR MAX 1 to the all-new NIKE AIR VaporMax. The first collaboration sees NIKElab team up with Marc Newson to “distill the essence of industrial craft and technology”. The shoe combines Newson’s aesthetic with NIKE’s future-forward technologies, resulting in an elegant yet completely original silhouette.
“The VaporMax sole — it’s massively sort of technological, but I think in many ways I wanted to sort of play that down,” explains newson. “So I took this as an opportunity to sort of do the opposite of what I thought everyone else might do. I wanted to sort of create a kind of counterpoint. My brief to myself was really to create a product that I’d want to use, and not only want to use, but want to use every day.” Newson drew from moccasin construction methods, joining a full-grain leather chassis and velcro strap frame to pre-molded NIKE flyknit sockliner. A TPU cupsole bonds the upper to the breakthrough NIKE VaporMax AIR unit, providing a lightweight underfoot feel.
“It’s wonderful now to be given the opportunity to work with all of these incredible new technologies and materials,” continues Newson. “Knitting, for example, as a particular technology, is really an extraordinary thing and something I know that NIKE have really pioneered over the last several years, and I believe that they sort of excel in that particular kind of technology.” Featuring all-new tooling and materials, Arthur Huang’s conception is among the lightest AIR MAX 1 ever built. Huang, who is the CEO of miniwiz — an upcycling firm who reuse trash and industrial waste — has appropriately created a lightweight package made entirely of post-consumer materials.
Paying homage to the idea of encapsulated innovation, the design seeks to spark its wearers’ imagination, and redefine the possibilities of modern manufacturing. For his design, fashion designer Riccardo Tisci channeled his Italian couture influences and streetstyle background. The updated NIKE air max 97 gets an elevated mid-cut, while a concealed zip pocket on the tongue gives the shoe added functionality. A translucent white outsole creates a distinct contrast with the runway-inspired synthetic leather and suede underlays of the upper. The shoe is completed with foil accents and embossed logos.
Design: Marc Newson, Riccardo Tisci and Arthur Huang