Finally we have arrived at that day of the year when all the sneakerheads of the world can celebrate “carrying around” their favorite Air Max, today is Air Max Day!
This year’s is special, in fact we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Air Max 1, the iconic silhouette designed by Tinker Hatfield and that has forever changed the history, not only of Nike, but also of the entire world of sneakers.
On the occasion of this special anniversary, Nike has decided to celebrate the Air Max legacy by scheduling for tomorrow the release of the new Air Max 1 “City of Lights“ aka Air Max 1 “La Ville Lumière”, created taking inspiration from innovation and intuition. The entire upper is made of classic white mesh and grey nubuck with the addition of iridescent panels and to complete it all there is 3.26, the date of Air Max Day, written along the tongue and on the box.
But the festivities don’t end there.
To best celebrate Air Max Day 2022, the SNKRS app will host a live gameshow through its Give Fresh Air initiative that will see sneakerheads compete to make a difference each in their own city.
Give Fresh Air is an initiative focused on uniting the global sneaker community to breathe new life into the world of sneakers. Sneaker lovers from around the world are invited to participate through shoe donations to local charities; bringing back the beauty of a local area in need of attention; supporting local startups and organizations through awareness outreach and crowdfunding; and in whatever way they see fit.
During the game show, contestants will be tested through a series of physical and creative challenges, as well as trivia to accumulate the most points. Not only will they be relying on their skills and knowledge, but participants will also have the opportunity to enlist the help of sneaker boutiques in their cities, such as Patta, Overkill, Solebox, Footpatrol, and Offspring.
The appointment with Give Fresh Air: The Game Show is tomorrow, March 26 at 2 p.m. live on the SNKRS app.
We at Collater.al have also chosen to celebrate Air Max Day 2022 with Nike and we do so by sharing the interview we conducted with Juliana Sagat, Footwear Designer Sport Style Innovation Women at Nike.
Juliana was born in Paris, but grew up in the suburb of Saint-Ouen. She graduated from Studio Bercot in Paris with a degree in fashion design. She moved to the United States to attend the Academy of Art in San Francisco. She later moved to New York to officially enter the fashion industry in her first professional role at Marc Jacobs. A few years after her foray into the American design community, She returned to Paris and gained inspiration and technical skills working for brands such as Kenzo, Givenchy and Isabel Marant. Juliana then moved to Portland, Oregon to join Nike’s footwear design team, focusing on the Nike Air Max lifestyle.
Here’s what she told us:
1. Which is your first memory related to Air Max?
I grew up in the outskirt of Paris in Saint Ouen, the North Suburbs. It a diverse low-income area, where different communities beautifully blend and live together. Out there during the 90’s and still today, Air Max is a cultural phenomenon. Everyone has at least on pair of Air Max in their closet. I was still a kid, but I remember vividly the boom of the Air Max Plus from 1998. I remember being amazed by storm of bold orange and blue gradient hitting all the streets of my hood like thunder. This pair become such a classic that the French kids renamed it “La requin” in French meaning the shark or “La TN”. It’s only when I started to work at Nike that I figure it out that it wasn’t even the real name of this pair. I still have nostalgia from this era, I remember that it was an optimistic time, we were all very hopeful for the future, dreaming of a more inclusive country, it seems that everything was possible, that it was OK to dream big. I remember also how diverse the French soccer team was and seeing kids from the same area where I come from succeeding was just amazing. “Les princes de la ville” du 113, et “Un gaou À Oran” of Magic system feat 113 (music band) were blasting in all of the projects, and the streets, I remember watching those two music video clips starring both “La requin” and dreaming that I will own a pair maybe one day.
2. Your journey is inspiration. Tell us how you’ve arrived to be a of the Nike Air Max lifestyle team?
I always knew that I wanted to work on the creative field but I didn’t really have access and I couldn’t find any role model that I could relate to on this field, so naturally I couldn’t really project myself. Even though Nike was already a part of my landscape, I thought it was impossible for me to work there, knowing that my English was not good and WHQ is located in Oregon USA. This is exactly why we really shouldn’t underestimate the power of diverse representation; it is so important to uplift and empower minorities to show the next generation that wherever they come from if they work for it everything is possible. At first, I wanted to be a graphic designer, I did a school learning graphic design and visual communication and I ending up working for “ALL GONE” a street culture book owned and created by Michael Dupouy. I guess that was my first instruction of the world of collaboration in street culture. But I always felt that could do more. Since a young age, I really liked fashion, thinking about the story behind every piece that I own, redefine my identity with clothes creating new silhouettes. Getting dressed for me has always been a way to self-express my mood. So after a year working at Colette I ended up at a fashion design school, Studio Bercot in Paris. It was a busy period of my life. I was literally ‘hustling’ and didn’t have a minute to relax. I was still working the weekend and during the holidays at Colette, and as assistant stylist for different magazines between classes of extra money. After I graduated, I enrolled for a year of exchange school Academy of Art in San Francisco to improve my English to finally started to work for different fashion luxury brand and learn footwear with my different experiences. I was working as a lead footwear designer for Isabel Marant when I received a call from a talent acquisition recruiter for Nike.
3. How much have your experiences in fashion world influenced and still influence your work at Nike?
When you create a collection in fashion you always start by creating a new story, a new narrative, a new world blending different referent points. It’s all about challenging the status quo and proposing a new version of reality by rewriting the script and challenging the norm. You think about the collection in a holistic way, in term of silhouette and global harmony. How everything from different cultures and worlds can beautifully collide and form a new unity. My though process designing a new sneaker is pretty much the same. Form and function, experience and expression, and art and science coexist together. I design thinking about style and performance at the same time. For me they are not two different, separate ideas, I would never prioritize one over another. Cultural shift and societal changed are also something important, to find the insight and the problem that you are trying to solve for the city athlete. When you design, the first goal is to create an innovative solution to make people’s lives better and easier.
4. What is your favorite Air max pair and why?
Air Max Plus or “La TN” or “La Requin”. I have an emotional connection with this model. It’s a community shoe. When I wear them, I feel grounded, I feel proud of where I come from, I feel confident about who I am now, and feel optimist about the future.
5. Which is the future of sneakers design in your opinion?
I’m optimistic about the future of design, I think it will be more purposeful design. As we are living in an interconnected world, the sneaker industry needs to think about a new way to approach design. An inclusive and sustainable way to create the future as the world and the culture evolve quickly. Being more and more transparent, putting Earth and the community first, and thinking about a circular way to create.
6. The Nike Air Max 1 is one of the most iconic sneakers ever. How much of its legacy is present in your daily work?
The Air Max 1 designed by Tinker Hatfield really sets the tone for the whole franchise. It was all about taking risks and breaking the rule to unlock innovative solution for the athlete. The concept to make the invisible visible, ethos inspired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris revolutionize the sneaker industry with the visible window air unit. The Air Max team keep designing new creation with this mindset, thinking about fearless innovation and unapologetic bold expression. The perfect combo to create an unforgettable new silhouette.