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Tinker Hatfield, Almost Fired, Helped Save Nike With The Air Safari & Tells Brett Golliff The Story

With sales and styles in a slump, the business of Nike was on the brink 25 years ago. That all changed when designer Tinker Hatfield was let loose to create a package of non-marketing briefed product. It was the “Air” pack. A Swoosh footwear rollout that included the likes of the Air Max 1, Air Jordan 3, and Air Safari. And it almost got Tinker Hatfield fired from the company.

Tinker tells Brett Golliff not only the entire Air Safari story, but the volatile climate and implied “desperation” of a key moment in Nike’s history: attempting to stay alive and stay solvent. Cast of characters include Mark Parker, Phil Knight, Rob Strasser, Peter Moore, Howard Slusher, Sandy Bodecker and more. There’s also a slice of re-told Beatles history mixed in. Listen to the full half hour interview of Tinker Hatfield right now on BrettGolliff.com.

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Category : Design Insight, Nike

Comments (2)

Thanks for sharing this. Brett’s podcast is great and I encourage everyone who loves Tinker’s work to check this out.

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Great history lesson for anyone who cares to know how Nike was shaped into the company it is today. Good thing the Swoosh folks who were calling for Tinker’s head didn’t prevail. His work helped shift the brand in a new direction…

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