Nike Air Max Jewell LX History
When it was released in 1987, the Nike Air Max 1 revolutionized how the world would view sneakers. It was designed by Tinker Hatfield himself, and it drew inspiration from a building that has one of the most thought-provoking architectural design in the modern world-- the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
This building’s design is unique because features that are supposedly hidden (e.g. beams and posts) or kept indoor (e.g. staircases) are purposefully laid bare for the whole world to examine. It’s fully functional, but it literally looks like it’s still under construction.
Hatfield saw value in Pompidou, and he pitched the idea of carving a window on the midsole so that the air packets that provide heel cushioning will be visible. However, some colleagues raised concerns about the resulting model’s durability, and then there was that good old conservative notion that the characteristic workings of a shoe are best kept hidden.
The resistance was so strong that there were already moves to remove him from the design team. Fortunately, he found an ally in Dave Forland, who was Nike’s Director of Cushioning Innovation at the time. The first Air Max was finally released on March 26, 1987.
Hatfield and his team proved their detractors very wrong. The Air Max 1 became the spark that Nike needed to keep itself afloat in the midst of fierce competition. It was simply selling like pancakes. The window idea paid off, and it’s probably because it wittingly added a unique touch to an otherwise old technology--Frank Rudy’s air technology which had already been used on several Nike releases since the late 1970s.
Due to its success, the Air Max 1 ushered in the Air Max era, and several releases have been made since the Air Max 1’s debut in 1987. One of the most iconic of such releases was the Air Max Plus, or the Nike TN, which was launched in 1998. This model is best remembered through its upper that featured a pattern that looks like a hard exoskeleton of a colorful insect. The Air Max Plus enjoyed tremendous commercial success, and it has since been re-imagined in a variety of colorways.
In 2017, the Air Max Plus has lent its silhouette to an entirely new line that is exclusively for women. Shedding the scene-stealing exoskeleton pattern on the upper, the new Nike Air Max Jewell deviates from the well-known funkiness of its inspiration. It instead offers a subtle elegance that surely appeals to the ladies.
Shortly after its release, the Air Max Jewell already went through a significant transformation. From mesh, its upper is changed to leather; giving birth to the Nike Air Max Jewell LX. This model reinforces the subtle sophistication that was already hard to miss in the original Air Max Jewell. It also comes with a more luxurious upper construction, hence the word “LX” is incorporated into the name.