Nike Air Max 270 React »Bauhaus«
Words: Sebastian Nicu
1919 was a great year, although probably not a single reader can confirm this as a contemporary witness. With all the hype surrounding the Italian liqueur Aperol, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this summer, it’s often overlooked that another equally important cultural achievement has been around just as long. As some of you may know, I’m talking about the Bauhaus Art School. Similar to the beloved summer in a glass, the history of the German institution begins in 1919. But in Weimar, the focus was more on a minimalist design language than on a soft tipsiness in the sunshine. Alright, I will stop babbling about the favorite cocktail of every Italian, basic bitches and me. Don’t worry, after a short excursion into design and architecture it’s really going to be about shoes and in the end everything will make sense, I swear!
Although Walter Gropius founded the school in Weimar, it is mostly associated with Dessau in Saxony-Anhalt today. At this location, it had a lasting influence on architecture, art and craftsmanship from 1926 to 1932. As a reaction to the traumas experienced in World War I, Gropius and his two fellow Bauhaus directors, Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, wanted to redesign everyday life in Germany: From then on, young people were given the opportunity to develop their creativity and thereby influence their immediate surroundings. However, the focus here was not on the creation of art, but on the design of everyday objects such as wallpaper, ashtrays and furniture. The masters of the school were also often given the opportunity to shape urban spaces with their architecture. Buildings such as the Gropius Houses in Berlin Zehlendorf, built in 1928, or the Weißenhofsiedlung in Stuttgart, designed in 1927 by Mies van der Rohe, embody the core of the Bauhaus with their simple design language and thus stand in extreme contrast to the eccentric Art Déco style, which was established around the same time and especially shaped the Paris cityscape. The Corbusierhaus, built in 1957 after plans by architect Le Corbusier near Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, is a clear example of the movement’s design philosophy and our chosen location for this photo series. The minimalism, which is typical for the Bauhaus style, still has a huge influence on architecture, industrial design and fashion today. But I think that’s enough information for you. After all, we’re not a publication about nice buildings.
Similar to the Dessau Bauhaus, a certain Beaverton sports shoe manufacturer often combines art and functionality in its products. This was particularly striking in Nike’s HTM era, named after the three designers who joined forces in the early 2000s: Hiroshi Fujiwara, founder of Fragment Design, Tinker Hatfield, who started his career as an architect and later influenced Nike’s design language like no other with models like the Air Max 87 or the Air Jordan 1 and last but not least Matt Parker, CEO and President of the company. The sneakers they designed were mostly equipped with the latest technology, ushering in new eras as a result. Even after 17 years, the three letters HTM make the hearts of collectors and fans beat faster: For instance, the Nike Lunar HTM Flyknit, created in 2012 in this collaboration, can only be found for four-digit amounts. But also early models of the creative trio, such as the Sock Dart or the Air Woven, enjoy great popularity among Nike’s disciples and are reissued every few years.
Even before that, Nike often tried to combine unusual designs with sophisticated functionality. If you look at the shoes designed as parts of ACG and the Alpha Project in the 1990s, you can see that Nike was ahead of its time. Those who travel even further into the past, for example into 1987, can’t avoid thinking of the Air Max 1, also known as Air Max 87. With this cult sneaker, which is still responsible for long queues in front of sneaker stores 30 years later, Tinker Hatfield’s passion for architecture becomes clear. The romantic story of the visible Air System, hidden behind a small window, goes back to the Centre Pompidou, a museum located in the middle of Paris. According to the legend, Hatfield was inspired by this transparent post-modern building. When he looked at the building, Hatfield was able to see what was going on on the inside. He knew immediately that he had to transfer this concept to a shoe and the rest is history.
In today’s sneaker world, there are so many Air Max models that it is almost impossible to list them all. An end to this era? Not in sight yet! Very soon you’ll find the latest representative on the shelves and online at HHV. The Air Max 270 React combines two of the most popular current Nike models. Both its midsole and the upper were inspired by the design of the Nike React Element 87, which really stirred up the scene in summer 2018. For even better cushioning, the air unit of the Air Max 270, which was also released in 2018 and has been an integral part of every pedestrian zone in the Western Hemisphere ever since, is integrated in the outsole. The Colorway Phantom/University Red/Black/University Gold, which will be available at HHV, is an ode to the Bauhaus and with its strong contrasting colours, it is particularly reminiscent of its iconic wallpapers and furniture, but also of the colour theory designed by Johannes Itten. The mix of design and functionality that is represented by the design school, has also been successfully restored in Nike’s accustomed manner.
So be honest, can you imagine a better way of celebrating summer 2019 than with a fresh pair of the Nike Air Max React 270 »Bauhaus« on your feet and an Aperoli Spritzioli in your hand?
Discover the Nike Air Max 270 React »Bauhaus« at HHV: