words // Nick DePaula:
Looking at the Air Jordan XI literally never gets old.
Whether it was on Michael’s feet in the 1995 playoffs, one of the many Retro colorways to release over the last twenty years, or in person on a random stranger earning a deserved head nod of approval — it’s a gorgeous sneaker.
The greatest of all time, many would say.
With inspirations by way of Michael’s specific request for a “shiny shoe,” the “slappy” and responsive shank plates found in football cleats, bridge architecture, lightweight nylon camping backpacks and even lawnmowers, Tinker Hatfield melded together influences from worlds apart and crafted one of the footwear world’s most innovative designs ever seen.
All while MJ had retired from the game of basketball, and Nike execs didn’t even want to go forward with his signature series.
Take a look at some of Tinker’s original Air Jordan XI sketches below, and be sure to share your favorite Tinker-designer models and stories on both Twitter and Instagram today by using the #TinkerDay hashtag.
Happy birthday to The Architect from the entire Nice Kicks team.