The Air Max journey began in 1987, with the Air Max 1. Almost everyone has seen the iconic ad of a backlight shining through the sneaker’s clear Air unit. Since then, the Nike Air Max line has changed the game, and as Kahlana Barfield Brown puts it, “It became a cultural icon with no ambassador.” In TheStory of Air Max: 90 to 2090, we get to learn about the narratives that surround the iconic sneaker from iconic American and European sneakerheads.
The film condenses so much of the Air Max story in just 30 minutes. It starts off by introducing the sneaker’s origin story, from the moment Frank Rudy introduced Phil Knight to the Air unit to Tinker Hatfield working his design magic in conceiving the Air Max. It then goes into the reinvention of the Air Max 90 for a new generation of sneakerheads – the documentary covers it all.
After explaining the design of the sneaker, the film features notable individuals sharing about what the Air Max line means to them – people like DJ Clark Kent, Scottie Beam, Scoop Jackson, Iceberg, Dizzee Rascal and Edson Sabajo.
They each recount personal stories about their favorite sneaker from the Air Max line up. Edson Sabajo talks about how the Air Max BW became a staple in the Dutch house scene, while Bishop Nast sheds light on why the Air Max Tn became such a staple in the French projects. And these are just two of the various stories condensed in this short film.
Our piece on the Air Max 90’s evolution focused on the updates the sneaker has received. But The Story of Air Max: 90 to 2090 sheds light on the cultural influence the Air Max line has had globally. Even here in Singapore, the Air Max line up has been a significant part of sneaker culture. Last year, we interviewed Singaporean sneakerheads about what Air Max sneakers mean to them.
What does the Air Max line mean to you? Share your thoughts in the comment section.