Michael Jordan once said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” Then he made it happen not only on the basketball court but also in the sneaker industry. His partnership with Nike, which started in 1985, led to one of the most iconic sneaker lines. Air Jordans dominated basketball, fashion, and pop culture. They even made it on television and in music videos. The brand made Nike $19 million in 5 years! So we must know who makes Air Jordans. Who are the masterminds behind this legacy?
More on Jordans:
– Best Jordan bots
– Air Jordan size guide
– How to wear your Jordans
– How to style Jordans
– Pre-owned authentic Jordans
– How to cop sneakers in bulk?
– Guide to cleaning Air Jordans
– And, How to use the Nike SNKRS app?
Evolution of Jordan Designs
We’ll get to who makes them in a second. But we have to appreciate the art before admiring the artists. The pair that kickstarted Air Jordan’s history is the Air Jordan One. It was originally designed for the NBA parquet flowers as they were comfortable, high-top, and had a really nice design.
Fun Fact: Nike had to pay a $5,000 fine because these OG Jordans didn’t respect the championship codes.
Then there were multiple lines with various designs and iconic shoe boxes. We saw elephant prints, shark-tooth shapes, cross-over straps above the lace, and reflective camouflage, among many others. Fast forward to the latest design, the Air Jordan XXXVII that pays homage to African culture with vibrant colorways.
Who Makes Air Jordans?
Now it’s time to get to know the creative geniuses. Who designs Air Jordans? There are multiple artists behind these kicks with three being the most influential.
Main Air Jordans Designers
When you’re thinking of who makes the AJ designs, you can’t help but think about Peter Moore, Tinker Hatfield, and Tate Kuerbis. They’re the designers who left the biggest impact on Jordan’s sneaker line.
Peter Moore was an American designer who was also a creative director at Nike and Adidas from the 1970s to the late 1990s. He’s the artist behind the very first Air Jordan. He also designed the second Air Jordan in collaboration with Bruce Kilgore. He sadly passed away in 2022 but he’s still known as a true icon.
Tinker Hatfield is probably the most famous designer of the iconic Air Jordans. He designed many of your favorite pairs. Hatfield’s history with Nike is forever engraved in sneakerheads’ minds. He currently is Nike’s Vice President for Design and Special Projects.
Air Jordans he designed:
- III -> XV
- AJ 2009 -> AJ XXX
Tate Kuerbis has his own fair share within the Jordan lore. He’s always paid attention to the performance aspect of the shoes he crafted.
Jordans he designed:
- XXXI -> XXXVII
More Prominent Designers
Yep, there are more. Believe it or not, many designers left a footprint on AJs’ history.
- Bruce Kilgore: Kilgore is the mastermind behind the Air Jordan two. He also designed the infamous Nike Air Force 1 sneaker.
- Wilson Smith III: Wilson designed multiple Jordans, including IV, XVI, and XVII.
- Mark Smith: Another Smith on the list. Mark is the artist behind Air Jordans XX, XVII, and XXX.
- D’wayne Edwards: Edwards blessed us with the infamous Jordans XVI and XVII.
- Jason Mayden: Mayden designed the iconic AJ 2009.
- Josh Heard: Heard blessed us with the AJ XX8 in 2013.
Is This Everyone Who Is Involved?
Thanks to Moore, Hatfield, and others, Jordans became a cultural phenomenon. They’ve poured their passion into these designs but are they the only ones? Well, these are the main designers. We’ve seen a bunch of collaborations within the Jordan ecosystem so of course others have chipped in. And, these collabs are not over, yet. So, make sure you tie yourself to one of the best sneaker bots to lace up your favorite Jordan.