Nike’s Annual Air Max Day Creates Buzz For Past And Future Designs

Air Max Day (Photo via NIKE)

The sneaker industry has blossomed into a sales juggernaut nationally and globally over the past twenty years. Each brand seemingly is in a race to outsell and produce new technology in an effort to one-up the competition.

Decades ago, Nike harnessed a shape-shifting element that forever changed the brand with its Air Max line. To celebrate the next generation of Nike Air, the Swoosh partnered with a group of artists to celebrate the past and future.

Air Max Day has become a U.S. and worldwide tradition each March 26th, the day it’s pivotal sneaker first hit the market 31 years ago.

Speaking with Nick Engvall, a long-time ambassador of sneaker culture and founder of Sneaker History, he explained why this particular shoe and anniversary has made an impact.

“Air Max Day is a genius idea because it really reaches beyond sneakerheads. People seem to look for ways to feel connected to bigger social happenings these days. Social media has made us anti-social in person, and Air Max Day gives the opportunity to be involved in a way.”

“This year’s releases, and specifically the story behind the Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97 design really drove home the sense of involvement and community that people seem to want to be a part of. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these brand created holidays in the future,” Engvall explained.

In Los Angeles, the Nike Air Gallery was the brand’s hub for Air Max Day 2018. The space was an immersive gallery and gift shop that celebrated Nike Air through art, workshops, and Air Max-related events. Using the new Air Max 270 as inspiration, six artworks created by young and emerging artists were put on display in the space.

At the gallery event, I met a handful of the artists and learned about their passions. While speaking with Gabe Gault he told me about his upbringing and explained his visual movement of Air style. Gault is a Venice Beach local and the area’s culture made a lasting impression on him; his love for street art and camouflage patterns resonate throughout his work.

I also spoke with Brandon Land, a San Francisco-based graphic designer, artist, and illustrator. We discussed his influences and favorite kicks growing up; the OG Air Max 1 is his favorite and the new atmos AM97 Safari Pack is high on the list of all-time greats. Land’s art piece focused on the different personalities that wear Air.

The party then shifted gears as we hit up the Los Feliz Theatre; there we watched the trailer debuting the VaporMax Moc 2, designed in collaboration with ACRONYM founder Errolson Hugh and musician John Mayer. Hugh created three colorways of the new sneaker that evoke the art of disguise. The two artists were on hand to discuss their passions in fashion and sneakers.

Each year fashion aficionados and sneaker enthusiasts clamor to see what their favorite brands plan to release. These marketing holidays will only continue to grow as the business of sports evolves.