By Mark Anthony Green

No offense to Phil Knight, but kids wouldn't be camping on sidewalks for limited-edition Nikes without mad scientist Tinker Hatfield. He's designed every pair of game-worn Jordans since '88, the visible Air bubble, and last year's Nike Mag -- a replica of the Back to the Future Part II shoes. Sneaker freaks, it's story time.

Nike's Tinker Hatfield On Designing Air Jordans Slideshow


Hatfield In Nike's Innovation Kitchen

Hatfield on missed opportunities: "At one point, I pushed for a less sporty sub-brand called Jordan Beyond. When Michael did SNL in '91, he wore a Jordan Beyond quilted green jacket. But I couldn't make it happen. I've still got some samples, including a basketball shoe that was perforated like a wingtip."


The Flames Less Traveled

Hatfield on the Air Jordan V: "The Jordan V was partly inspired by flames painted on a World War II plane. Michael and I used to talk about zigging while everybody else was zagging, so I made the flames point forward, not back."


When Inspiration Strikes

Work ... Just Not at Work: "I never design during business hours. It's too distracting. I might do a few sketches, but almost all the drawings are done at night or on the weekends."

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