August 17, 2015

It’s one of those shoes you know from the moment you look at it that has gone through hell and back before finally hitting the stores. Whether or not you’ve owned a pair of Nike Air Max 95 (or know someone who has, perhaps an older sibling, relative or friend) back in the day, it’s undeniable that these were an instant hit – then AND now. The Nike Air Max 95 wouldn’t have seen the light of day if not for its designer’s confidence and insistence. Just like the Nike Air Max 1, Sergio Lozano’s design came with some resistance. “The first concept review for the Air Max 95 wasn’t a success across the board, some people thought it was good and others didn’t like it at all,” Lozano said.

But the blueprint of the Air Max 95 was created way before he was ever recruited for the project 20 years ago. He recalls finding inspiration on a rainy afternoon while he was enjoying the Beaverton scenery. “I was looking across the lake out into the trees and I began picturing the process of rain eroding the earth and thought it would be interesting if the perfect product was unearthed by erosion,” Lozano said. He then made a quick sketch and kept it for later.

That “later” came soon enough, when Lozano felt unsatisfied after the first few Air Max brainstorm sessions. He needed to push his own boundaries to reinvigorate the Air Max family. He then whipped out that sketch, made some changes and focused on incorporating the forefoot visible air. He remembered something that Tinker Hatfield would always say when working on projects. Lozano recalls him saying, “Okay, so that’s a great design, but what’s your story?” For the Air Max 95, the answer was realised in a few anatomy books kept in the Nike design library. Lozano found the correlation between the construction human body and essence of product design very appealing. The human ribs, vertebrae, muscles and skin became his main points of inspiration for the first Air Max 95 prototype.

The statement-making shoe stood out among the crowded market with its moulded upper, neon yellow detail, black outsole and visible forefoot air. 20 years and two iterations later, the Air Max 95 assumes its original form for both men and women to enjoy.

The Nike Air Max 95 OG is available in selected Nike stores at $249.