In 1987, Nike—along with one of its up-and-coming designers, Tinker Hatfield—made a huge breakthrough in both sneaker technology and design with the creation of the Air Max 1. Inspired by the Centre Georges Pompidou, a multicultural complex in Paris which featured the inner-workings of the building—plumbing, electric, etc—on the outside in a variety of colors, Hatfield took those design cues back with him to Oregon. The result was the first sneaker to ever have an exposed Air bubble, and with it began a revolution in running sneakers and footwear design.

With a certified hit on Hatfield’s hands, the Air Max line was born, and with that came the pressure and consistency to build on and improve upon its look, tweaking the Air technology for enhanced performance and evolving the design for renewed excitement year after year. Hatfield was once again the man for the job.

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