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On the 20th anniversary of their release, Nike have put together a retrospective on the development of their iconic Air Max 95s called Anatomy Of Air: The Air Max 95. The piece looks at designer Sergio Lozano’s work developing the concept for the world-famous kicks, and the simple inspiration that he found in the world around him.

Only four years into his career, and never having worked on a running product before, Lozano was tasked with creating something that could keep up with the runaway success of the projects spawned from Nike’s basketball division. This led Lozano to take risks that eventually became some of the most iconic elements of the shoe, including the forefoot visible air, along with its signature black and dark gray colours, intended to protect wearers against the elements they may encounter running in harsh environs.

Lozano took inspiration from a variety of elements, at first sketching a shoe that incorporated ridges that were similar to those found in the Grand Canyon, and then later building upon this with features that reflected the structure of the human body. Ribs, vertebrae, muscles, and skin all became key points of inspiration for the very first Air Max 95 prototype that the team created.

While Lozano and his team battled through review after review until production finally went forward, we’re all very aware of the success that the 95s would eventually have, and how they are still influencing the contemporary design of sneakers even today. Check out a few early design sketches in the gallery above, and then read the full piece over here.

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