The History the Nike Air Max

One of the iconic landmarks of Paris, the Centre Pompidou, is known as the first “inside-out” building in architectural history. The arts and literature structure was designed to display its structural, mechanical, circulation, and plumbing systems on the outside — visible to everyone. Tinker Hatfield, inspired by the landmark, brought its themes to his work as a shoe designer at Nike’s Portland, Oregon, headquarters. 

In 1987, the Nike Air Max was born; a new era of sneakers came into being. The Air Max 1, unlike any previous shoe, exposed the air unit that is an integral part of many high-performance sneakers. Similar to the Centre Pompidou, the design allowed you to see the inner workings usually hidden inside of the shoe. It was a hit and, as the line evolved, Nike released many additional colorways — as well as updates that paid homage to the original design and inspiration. 

On March 26, 2020, Nike will celebrate 30 years of the Air Max when it debuts the newly designed Air Max 2090. Dubbed the “Photon Dust,” this vintage sneaker — though modernized with a new futuristic look — features lightweight translucent ripstop and taped seams. It also boasts an air bubble that is 200 percent larger than previous designs. Even so, many aspects of the design remain the same, harkening back to the vintage Air Max, including the cropped iconic Nike Swoosh, waffle outsole pattern, mudguard, and the cassette layer surrounding the air unit.

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