The Air Jordan V was designed by Tinker Hatfield, with a 3M reflective tongue, translucent outsole, and molded ankle collar. All three features were firsts for basketball shoes from Nike.
The design was inspired by the grey nurse shark and Supermarine Spitfire MK 8.
What made the Air Jordan 5 special was the fact that they were different and I picked them. The materials and design were new, they caught my attention. At 10 years old, I wasn't a #nikehead just yet, I was just beginning to learn who Michael Jordan was. This shoe introduced me to Michael Jordan, fighter jet airplanes, the idea of design and different being a good thing.
My curiosity was sparked. I had something that was different. I studied and dissected the shoes when I couldn't wear them anymore. I flashed a light on the tongue from all angles to see the 3M glow. I ripped apart the mesh panels, cut out the tongue and took out visible air units from the sole. This was my first shoe deconstruction.
Knowing where the design came from, I started down the path to learning more about airplanes. I started building model airplanes like the F-15. With each model I started with the part disassembled, the opposite of what I did to the Jordan. My mind switched from deconstruction, to assembly and how to connect these parts into something that can fly.
My childhood of model airplanes and Air Jordan's started from something new and different and led me down the engineering path.
It was more than a shoe, it was potential, it was the catalyst to my curiosity, it was the origin to the path I've taken professionally. Every time I see a pair of Jordan V's, I'm reminded to embrace the new and different. The new and different will lead to creativity, growth, and improvement.