In 1991, the introduction of the Air Max 180 made the dream of running on air a reality. The shoe’s Air Max unit and its 180 degrees of visible air allowed direct contact between the Air unit and the road. Not only was it an advancement in Nike technology, it also forged a breakneck aesthetic.
The radical look was complemented on release by a series of print and TV advertisements that were created by a several graphic artists. German Alfons Holtgreve produced a dynamic black-and-white abstract work suggestive of frenetic athletic activity. Marcello Morandini, an Italian, offered a colorful mix of pattern and perspective. From London, famed Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman shared an illustration that mined Aesop’s Fables for inspiration (with 180 Air, the hare might actually have its day, he thought).
For Air Max Day 2018, Nike celebrates the impact of Holtgreve, Morandini and Steadman’s art with a trio of special-edition Nike By You Air Max 180s. There is one for each artist, prepared in a colorway derived from their respective 180 Air work from 1991.