Nike Reveals the Tinker ‘Sketch to Shelf’ Air Max 1 Collection

Classic sneakers never quite lose their luster. Like many relics, they grow better with time, aging masterfully while serving as a reference point for modern design. There are few better examples than Nike’s Air Max 1, originally released in 1987 and designed by creative luminary Tinker Hatfield. 

Hatfield, a Swoosh legend, has produced countless classics that have shaped both design and sneaker culture. The process has always been somewhat of a mystery, with the inner workings of his creative process under lock and key. Yet, in recent years, both Nike and Hatfield have strategically offered insights into the creator’s genius, exposing blueprints, sketches and scribbles that ultimately became some of the greatest sneakers of all time. 

That unveiling continues with the Nike Air Max 1 “Tinker” Collection. The three styles each feature a prototype sketch, offering a window into Hatfield’s train of thought when designing the Air Max 1. The “Sketch” edition in white, gray and University Red is made of premium suede and mesh with youthful scribbles on the upper and mudguard.

The “Schematic” iteration serves as a blueprint for Hatfield’s design patterning. Scale markings that show distance and height are visible, revealing unknown information and data about the classic sneaker. The white leather base with black script pays homage to works by Joshua Vides, a talented designer who rose to fame in sneaker culture in 2017 for his contrasting black-and-white graphic art. The “Schematic” theme doubles in black and includes Hatfield’s autograph and the date of the sneaker’s inception: July 23, 1986.

Prior to the Air Max 1 “Tinker” Collection, Nike and Jordan Brand released several cutting-room-floor styles from the mind of Hatfield. There was first the Air Max Zero, which was said to be conceptualized before the proper release of the Air Max 1. Soon thereafter, the Air Jordan 3 “Tinker” was released and featured a Swoosh on Michael Jordan’s 1988 signature sneaker. An Air Jordan 13 “Tinker” also dropped last year.

Although Nike hasn’t officially confirmed the release details for the “Tinker” Air Max 1 collection, it is reported that pairs will begin to hit retailers next week on July 13, so stay tuned.

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