Browsing the "Eric Avar" Tag

20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Hyperflight (2001)

August 3rd, 2012 by | 9 comments

nike hyperflight 2001 20 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Hyperflight (2001)

Sneaker News has followed Nike Basketball back through the first half of its examination of the past twenty years, and after Tinker Hatfield’s name rang out through the first week, this second go-round has been dominated by another legendary designer.  But even with all the success of the Air Penny 1, Air Foamposite One, Flightposite and Shox BB4, Eric Avar looked to Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman for inspiration on the 2001 flagship release.  The Nike Air Hyperflight was a response to the question with which Bowerman met Avar in product meetings over the years: “Can you make it lighter?”  Click through to see the sketches that show the transition from the rocket-infused BB4 into a new era of synthetics and bold colorways and stick with Sneaker News for the second half of this series next week.

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20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Shox BB4 (2000)

August 2nd, 2012 by | 3 comments

nike shox bb4 2000 7 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Shox BB4 (2000)

Any serious sneakerhead could tell you of Tinker Hatfield’s immense influence on sneaker design and the first few entries in Nike Basketball’s 20 year retrospective echoed this fact.  As we follow time forward into the middle ’90s, another legendary designer makes his name starting with Penny Hardaway and the revolutionary Foamposite line, then continues to build his star along with the new generation of freakishly athletic roundball stars.  Eric Avar‘s 2000 Nike Shox BB4 was itself the culmination of two decades of research, a shoe whose core theme could finally be realized thanks to the invention of improved foam fabrication.  The BB4′s unique ‘rocket and booster’ appearance proved Avar’s opinion that “every shoe should have one bold, iconic expression to it [and] sometimes you can get away with two,” and will forever be remembered as the shoe that made Fred Weis famous (did you get the ‘Dream Team’ pack retros?).  Click through to see more of Vince Carter’s Shox debut, let us know how they compare to the other milestone designs we’ve chronicled and stick with Sneaker News as we continue to chronicle Nike Basketball’s best on this side of the millennium.

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20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Flightposite (1999)

August 1st, 2012 by | 9 comments

nike air flightposite 1999 7 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Flightposite (1999)

After a fairly thorough excavation of the legendary 1995-96 season and its immediate followups, Nike Basketball continues its journey through the past two decades of excellence with the spiritual successor to yesterday’s entrant.  ’97′s Air Foamposite One set the bar with a then-record $170 MSRP and a design that remains ‘futuristic’ to this day, and two years later, Foamposite lead designer Eric Avar leveraged the technology to “create a seamless extension of your body.”  The Nike Air Flightposite was born two years later with a sleeker design inspired by classical anatomy drawings and a unique zipper enclosure that made it one of the smoothest basketball shoes ever created.  Click through to see more photos, sketches and words from the designer (conspicuous by a complete absence of Kevin Garnett references) and stick with Sneaker News for tomorrow’s look back over 20 years of Nike Basketball brilliance.

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20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Foamposite One (1997)

July 31st, 2012 by | 5 comments

nike bball 20 designs air foamposite one 1 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Foamposite One (1997)

We’ve chronicled Nike Basketball’s trip back through the past twenty years over these past couple weeks and today we encounter the design that’s made more of an impact on the last few years than any other on the list.  The Nike Air Foamposite One debuted in 1997 after a product meeting with Penny Hardaway left the star of the Air Max Penny 1 and II with absolute certainty that “This [was his] next shoe!”  In fact, the Air Foamposite One was a Penny 2.5 of sorts, heavily influencing the III and taking cues from the wavy-lined predecessors, and the recent rise in all things Penny has seen these rise to the top as (along with the Pro edition) arguably the most collectible model released over the past three or so years.  Click through to see more classic photos and promo materials as well as some insights from designer Eric Avar and stick with Sneaker News as we continue to examine the greatest Nike Basketball designs of all-time.

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20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Max Penny (1995)

July 27th, 2012 by | 3 comments

nike air penny 1995 18 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Max Penny (1995)

Today’s chapter in the Nike Basketball history book is a discussion of one of many models that makes 1995-96 arguably the best season on record, but this story has its nexus somewhere between the 1992 Air Raid and Air Max2 CB ’94 posts that preceded it. Draft Day ’93 introduced the entire world to Anfernee ‘Penny’ Hardaway, a brilliant oversized point guard from the then-relatively unheralded University of Memphis. It was on June 30th of that year that the Orlando Magic traded the rights to #1 pick Chris Webber of Michigan Fab Five (and Air Flight Huarache) fame, cementing Penny’s return from a gunshot that just two years earlier had jeopardized his entire career.

Webber went on to win that season’s Rookie of the Year award, but in Hardaway, Orlando had a once-a-generation talent who would become the face of the franchise and arguably the most successful Nike signature athlete of the mid-to-late ’90s not named ‘Michael Jordan’. After a couple of playoff appearances including the 1995 NBA Finals run and a rocking bunch of notable styles like the Air Flight One, Air Go LWP and Air Up, Eric Avar laced Penny with a groundbreaking design that foreshadowed changes to come in the Beaverton B-Ball division.

The Nike Air Max Penny (1) debuted around the start of the ’95-96 season with a style that defied the Flight and Force conventions, foreshadowed Foamposite with its prominent, wavy midsole and helped to launch the Uptempo line for a new generation of explosive perimeter players. The Air Max Penny also furthered Hardaway’s connection to the then ‘Tensile Air’ that first appeared on the AF One, paving the way for the explosion of Zoom Air that’s still one of the Swoosh’s premier cushioning platforms. Introducing the Chris Rock-voiced Lil Penny marionette along with the unveiling of Penny’s ’1c’ logo pushed this design over the top, and made for another memorable classic that has us excited to see what will be the next chapter on Monday?

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20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Flight Huarache (1992)

July 24th, 2012 by | 6 comments

air flight huarache 1992 20 Years Of Nike Basketball Design: Air Flight Huarache (1992)

Following up on yesterday’s debut, we see the next entrant in Nike Basketball’s ’20 Years’ retrospective pick up right where the Air Force 180 Low left off.  That model commonly linked to Charles Barkley could be seen as the first step in Nike embracing the ’90s attitude, and here we see more evidence of Tinker Hatfield’s impeccable timing.  Hatfield and assistant Eric Avar saw basketball shorts getting longer, and following the 1980s arms race that had court kicks higher and heavier than ever before, it was simply time for a change.  The Nike Air Flight Huarache came onto the scene in 1992 with a neck-breaking ankle cutout to highlight its exoskeletal construction, and their connection to notable ballers of the time including the infamous ‘Fab 5′ Michigan Wolverines makes these an all-time classic.  Click through for some words from Tinker himself and a rundown of the OG colorways, and stick with Sneaker News for the next milestone in two decades of Nike Basketball brilliance.

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Nike Zoom Kobe VI Wear-Test Sample

May 15th, 2012 by | 9 comments

nike zoom kobe vi wear test sample 6 Nike Zoom Kobe VI Wear Test Sample

Of the lengthy sneaker-design process, the Wear-Test stage is a make-or-break affair; it doesn’t matter if the shoe looks amazing – if it doesn’t perform to the standards of the athlete, it’s back to the drawing board for the design crew. Of course, a lot of elements from a sneaker’s predecessor is carried on, but when looking at the progress of Kobe V to VI, the most notable change is the enlarged heel-cup – perhaps Kobe needed a bit more stability in that area for when he makes his daring cuts sand drives to the hoop. This Wear-Test sample of the Nike Zoom Kobe VI shows the sneaker free of any structural support – just the snake-skin TPU shell and the stencil-pained Swoosh on the upper, and the a solid one-piece midsole without the design ridges and the heel Zoom chamber. With the minimalistic appeal of this sample, the Kobe VI almost looks like a funky lifestyle shoe rather than one that was made on court, but credit Eric Avar for bringing street style and basketball sense into one cohesive unit. A gallery awaits you below, so take a look and cop this sample now from identitiesrevealed on eBay.

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