By: Ian Wixted
On this week 21 years ago, Tinker Hatfield blessed Michael Jordan and the world with what most consider his best creation, the Air Jordan 11. After a stint in Minor League Baseball, MJ came out of his first retirement ready to work, and Tinker knew this silhouette had to be something special for the occasion.
The Air Jordan 11 saw the return of clear rubber soles and became the first athletic sneaker to feature patent leather. Tinker’s inspiration for the look of the AJ 11 came from the shiny body of a convertible. He chose to use patent leather to mimic the shine of the car and to add a fashion look to a basketball sneaker.
While wearing the Air Jordan 11 during the 1995-96 season, Jordan had one of the best seasons in his career. MJ led the Bulls to a then record-setting 72 regular season wins, won his fourth NBA title and the start of a new 3peat. Jordan became only the second player in history to win the MVP for the regular season, All-Star Game, and the Finals in the same season.
Tinker Hatfield created an iconic basketball/fashion monster when he designed the Air Jordan 11. The fastest selling and highest quantity sold Air Jordan of all time, the AJ 11 transcended the basketball sneaker into the world of fashion. From the court all the way to Space Jam, any sneakerhead growing up in the 90s has a cherished memory of the Air Jordan 11, and of course, we have the Godfather, Tinker Hatfield to thank!