Monday, 12 November 2012

Design Studio | Designer Database

It has been a long time coming but at last Nike will explore the design innovation of Nike Basketball through the "Inside Access" Series for this NBA season. From creating silhouettes specifically for outdoors to the fabrication of shorts, finally some light will be shed on every step of the design process. We can only hope that there will be no cutting of corners or worse still, censoring in fear of copyright infringement. Sneaker culture needs to rekindle its love for the design process and not just for the finished item. We may need to keep our emotions in check as our sky high levels of expectations for all things Nike might be the projects ultimate disappointment.

We should, however, still all be optimistic of this series. The spotlight of public interest has once again returned to the design process and having briefly profiled Jason Petrie last time round it would only be logical to continue with the design thread and so player profile a selected bunch from the Nike shoe designing team. If like Nike the topic for discussion is about all things basketball then the names Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar are the top of anyone's list. Comparison is innevitable and at times insightful but for a comprehensive sneaker for sneaker comparison, it would be best saved for another day. For the meantime lets say Avar's shoes are performance monsters. The records speek for themselves: Penny's, Foamposites, Flightposites, Hyperdunk and Kobe's last three shoes. Tinker's (though less spectacular when considering performance) are formally and stylistic second to none. He can boast of having Air Jordan as his backdrop and having put elephant print on the Air Jordan III and patent leather on the XI. It's also hard to argue against the XXIII being one of the best looking sneakers of all the Air Jordan line. Last but not least he created a whole new category of shoe (cross training) but then again we are talking about all things basketball. What can definitively be agreed upon is there wouldn't be one without the other

What I would like to attempt to get started here is to freshen up the arguments apropos of the greatest shoes and their designers for Nike. It will be the subject matter of posts to come in which the nitty gritty details of individual sneakers will be closely examined. As for the meantime a long list needs compiling of designers and their sneakers so by reminding many that there is more to the world of sneaker design that the names Tinker Hatfield and Eric Avar. 


Bio - Aaron Cooper has enjoyed quite an eventful 15 years on the footwear industry, and though he's most known for designing the Air Pippen line for Nike Basketball, he's also been able to lay claim to several hits in both the Running and Training categories. After getting his star in hoops and spending a few years in Amsterdam heading up Nike;s European Design Studio, he's back on U.S. soil now, heading Nike's Training division as Global footwear Design Director and guiding the group as it continues to evolve their newly versatile loin of footwear and apparel.  

Nike Ait Hover Uptempo:

Nike Air MZ3:

Nike Air Flight 1996:

Nike Air Pippen 1: 

Nike Air Pippen 2:

Nike Ultraflight:

Nike Ultraposite:

Nike Air Zoom Generation

Nike Air Flight Max 2 (Google patents shows a similar lacing system in his name): 

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