ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Air Jordan, one of the most (if not the most) iconic basketball sneakers of all-time, is turning 30 years old. And today in Chicago, Jordan Brand unveiled the latest iteration of the shoe. The Air Jordan XXX, designed by longtime Nike designers Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith, found inspiration in several places.
According to Jordan Brand…
Each of the shoe’s elements results from a key performance insight or design inspiration fundamental to the player and Jordan Brand’s evolutions. The start of the design process, however, tied to a significant, if lesser-known, date: a bitterly cold weekend in February 2015, when – during a pre-birthday party dinner — Michael Jordan asked long-time design collaborator Tinker Hatfield to spearhead the design of the anniversary-marking shoe. “The next morning I drew a shoe,” Hatfield recalls, “because I knew I was in deep trouble. We had no time. Then I realized it wasn’t good enough to sketch a shoe. I asked for that particular photo of Michael in the slam dunk contest and then I drew.”
The photo in question, which featured MJ in the open lane, rising to the hoop, ball cocked behind his right ear and legs tucked under his body, activated Hatfield’s memories of 1988. It spurred the designer to add his own illustrations to the familiar image. The resulting artwork, which recapped Jordan’s history in unconventional ways, in turn inspired the shoe.
An “XXX”, signifying 30, transformed into a basketball net. Stars symbolized the athlete’s otherworldly talents and planets orbiting the Jordan universe took on surfaces — elephant print or carbon fiber — related to innovations initiated by past Jordan models. Elaborating his drawing, with help of fellow designer Mark Smith, Hatfield broadened the Jordan narrative and formed the story of the Air Jordan XXX, one that references a storied yet timeless lineage with an eye towards the future.
The Air Jordan XXX will be globally available at select retail stores and Jordan.com on February 12, 2016. For more images, check below… (more…)