Abstract #2

Tinker Hatfield is in a realm of his own when it comes to shoe design.


The second episode of Abstract: The Art of Design focuses on the rock-star designer of shoes ‘Tinker Hatfield’, who over his career has became a household name for Nike, if you have a friend that is a shoe person or you just enjoy good art and design this episode is a must.

The show explores how Tinkers career began with studying architecture and was in the track team for coach and Nike Co-founder Bill Bowerman and how he became involved in the Nike company and working his way towards being one of the most influential shoe designers in the world.

When he started in shoe design in 1985 he used his architecture skills and applied them to shoe design and created trainers that were multi-purpose for sports. He then became the lead designer for Michael Jordans ‘Air jordans’ keeping him on the Nike team in a time where Adidas and Reebok were becoming more popular, and has created numerous versions becoming one of the most recognized sports trainers.

As a forward thinker Tinker designed the ‘Back to the future’ shoes for Marty Mcfly and has now been able to use this inspiration to develop Nikes new project to make a real pair of trainers that can tie themselves and fit to the size of your feet.

And it wasn’t just the Jordan’s that Tinker helped created but he was also influential in the ‘Air max 1’, ‘Air max 90’, ‘Nike air trainer’, ‘Nike air raid’ and the ‘Nike Zooms’.


During the episode you get a great insight into Tinkers life and how he works, seeing his sketches and doodles is a really inspiration even for people that not into shoe design, his drawings are detailed, vivid and typographic, you can really see how his ideas have turned into the real shoe design or even in the promotional Nike work.

Tinker is now Nike’s Vice President for Design and special projects and has been in the business for more than three decades.


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