Tinker Hatfield...You can't be serious!

January 13, 2008


如果提到球鞋界的Holy Grail

那就非NIKE在1985年首度推出的Air Jordan系列莫屬了



...the Air Jordan captured a mix of design, marketing, athleticism and player charisma that hadn't been seen before in the industry -- everyone wanted to "Be Like Mike"



這個每年固定推出一款新鞋、

就連Jordan三度進出籃壇期間都不曾中斷的系列

在今年二月即將推出編號第23代的Air Jordan XX3

根據一直以來不停流傳的說法(也是我個人非常不願相信的說法...)

Air Jordan XX3可能將會是這個傳奇球鞋系列的grand finale...



也因為如此

Air Jordan XX3成為所有球鞋發燒友最引頸期盼的鞋款

就連我這個自AJ XIX之後就對該系列設計從失望轉為憤怒的收藏界逃兵

都對該鞋款抱著相當大的期望

不過在看過去年八月首度從國外論壇流出的間諜照後...



去年11月流出的Air Jordan XX3間諜照(左)及熱心鞋友用Photoshop繪製的細節重現版本(右)



我只有一句話想說...



"You gotta be kidding me!"



從那張黑白且解析度頗低的照片看起來

整雙Air Jordan XX3的鞋側線條及主要的鞋帶配置、鞋面分割比例

實在像極了十年前那雙前輩鞋款...Air Jordan XIII

即使在有心鞋友用Photoshop將該間諜照重新繪製、試圖捕捉照片上不易看見的細節後

儘管對於鞋身細節以及可能極為複雜的做工感到佩服

我還是感覺不出這雙鞋究竟有什麼了不起的statement或是innovation

足以讓他成為幫Air Jordan系列劃下句點的偉大作品

I just don't get it...



或許是Tinker Hatfield在交出他一手打造的AJ系列設計權多年後

首度重操舊業就得負責如此重要的計畫

(AJ XX3由Tinker Hatfield和Mark Smith聯手設計, 但設計方向是由Tinker定調)


讓他決定放棄設計上的創新、回頭尋找過去經市場驗證為成功設計的元素

然後將全力放在如何打造一雙鞋身細節及做工超越市面上所有產品、

並兼顧"sustainability"此一不僅流行還"politically correct"語言的鞋款

在Air Jordan XX3上

我看不到過去Air Jordan系列永遠走在市場前端的設計宣言

那種無顧普世審美及價值觀...大聲喊出"I'm what I'm"的桀傲不馴

在"you either love me or hate me...I couldn't care less"的態度下

Air Jordan系列永遠是在充滿爭議的同時也製造了許多讓鞋迷辯論不休的話題

你可以將這個問題丟給任何一位對Air Jordan鞋有所認識的人...

"請選出你心中最美和最醜的五雙Air Jordan"

然後預期得到完全不同的答案

更有趣的是...你會發現就算是同一個人在不同年齡時接受訪問

也極有可能會出現截然不同的好惡排序...



對我而言

這就是一個成功的產品設計至少應該帶來的效果

你對它的觀感和評價並不會在第一眼看見它時就完全定調

而是隨著時間推移而讓感覺持續發酵或是沈澱

不管你是流行市場上的"先行者"或是"追隨者"

Air Jordan系列永遠會在某個時間點突然進入你的視線中、闖入你的生活中

讓你抒發對其設計的欣賞或是不屑、讚賞或是厭惡...



我愛極了從推出之後就飽受批評的AJ XV

卻恨透了被推崇為球鞋設計經典之作的AJ II



我想盡辦法想要弄到一雙被所有親友嫌惡的AJ XI

卻對明顯想要擷取AJ XI設計語彙進一步發展的AJ XVI不屑一顧



我在25歲以前始終想不透為何有這麼多人想要擁有一雙AJ IV

卻在去年花了一整年想要在eBay上標到一雙AJ Retro IV "Mars Blackmon"



我在離開台灣兩年多後總算有機會回家一趟

但能跟著我一起回到美國的不是我當初用盡各種資源入手的AJ VII "Olympic Edition"

而是我在距今約十年前不費吹灰之力入手、也鮮少落地的AJ I...



間諜照流出後的數個月後、幾天前(2008/1/8)在紐約的一場僅開放部份媒體參與的記者會中

包含Tinker Hatfield在內的四位Jordan Brand大老

聯手揭開了這雙可能是球鞋史上最受期待鞋款的神祕面紗

也公佈了Air Jordan XX3的配色、發售時間表以及售價







Left : White/Titanium/University Blue; Middle : White/Black/Varsity Red; Right : Black/Varsity/Stealth





限量版高達美金230元、一般版也要價美金185元的定價

對習慣NIKE行銷手法(限量+高價)的鞋迷們來說早就見怪不怪...

(White/Titanium/University Blue為只限23間店家販售的限量版本、White/Black/Varsity Red則為明星賽限定版)

被間諜照片提早公諸於世的設計

也讓Air Jordan XX3的揭幕少了點戲劇化的張力...

而鞋迷最關心的問題..."究竟這是不是Air Jordan系列的告別作?"



"You'll just have to wait and see,"

就連Michael Jordan本人也不願輕易鬆口...



至於Tinker Hatfield在記者會上一再強調的"handcraftsmanship"

在Air Jordan XX3正式上架、有機會將它拿在手上細細端詳前

似乎也很難真正體會到所謂高品質手工製作的標準究竟有多高...





按照Tinker的說法, AJ XX3的細部設計靈感來自於高級訂製鞋、手工雪茄盒以及Jordan新購買的Ferrari座車的皮製內裝



"Our goal was to make the Air Jordan XX3 the best basketball shoe ever, both in performance and sustainability. The handcraftsmanship and innovation built into this shoe is simply unmatched," Hatfield說道, "By infusing the ultimate in technology, setting a new trend in style and designing a shoe with the environment in mind, we hope these ingredients will cause people to say this is one of their favorite Air Jordan's ever."



我知道過去強調靈感來自Ferrari 550 M(AJ XIV)、Lockheed-Martin F22 Raptor(AJ XX2)

P-51 Mustang(AJ V)和X-15 fighter(AJ XV)、甚至是爵士音樂(AJ XVII)的說法也沒有多高明

但是至少比起Air Jordan XX3的設計精髓所在具體且容易聯想...

難道"sustainability"這個實在很難和球鞋被聯想在一起的buzzword

竟然成了Air Jordan XX3最大賣點(唯一賣點?)



或許這對飽受人類摧殘的地球來說是個好事

但是對於期待Air Jordan系列的最新鞋款能對沈寂許久的球鞋設計界帶來衝擊的我

只能說是...



...an inconvenient truth





AIR JORDAN XX3 Technical Components



Nike Considered :

• AIR JORDAN XX3 is the first basketball shoe in Nike's history to be designed according to Nike Considered ethos.

• The design of the AIR JORDAN XX3 minimizes waste and use of solvent based cements.

• Automotive quality painting process on the backside of the Thermo Plastic Urethane (TPU) chassis is completed by an efficient robot arm to maximize the quality, consistency and durability of the paint and component.

• Outsole uses environmentally preferred rubber that reduces toxics and incorporates Nike Grind material from footwear outsole manufacturing waste.

• The construction of the shoe emphasizes the use of environmentally preferred materials.



Upper :

• A newly engineered, patent-pending, stitching machine stitches the upper in 3-D form.

• Dual density sock liner.

• Internal dual density slow recovery foam around the heel conforms to foot shapes to create a more custom fit.

• One shot compression molded phylon midsole.

• Full length sleek internal bootie maximizes comfort while complimenting the sleek profile.

• Nu-foam collar/tongue lining package for sleek low profile comfort.

• New quilted pattern molded sock liner that provides quality arch support.provides quality arch support.

• Reinforced quarter panels to form and hold the exact shape of the last to provide the best fit possible.

• Breathable tongue allows air to escape helping to keep the foot cooler.

• The upper is bladder pressed on the last two times during the construction to form the upper shape exactly to the last shape.



Midsole / Outsole :

• Full length Zoom Airsole unit for superior cushioning.

• Carbon fiber/acrylic weave shank plate adds structure and support in key areas.

• High performance TPU chassis built for stability and support.

• Light weight - 15 ounces.

• One of the lowest midsole profile thickness made for a basketball shoe (19mms in the heel and 9mms in the forefoot) allowing for players to be as close to the ground as possible and feel the court.

• The shank plate is inserted into the TPU chassis mold and the TPU is directly shot over the entire plate. This process is the most efficient for production because it enhances durability, reduces waste, and minimizes our solvent cement usage. It is a new innovation for performance footwear.

• Advanced cushioning system contains a low profile IPS system with a large pillar in the heel combined with a low profile modified IPS in the forefoot.



AIR JORDAN XX3 Unique Design Features :



• An imprint of Michael Jordan's finger print traction pattern on outsole.

• Precise stitching to reveal external heel moccasin stitch.

• Michael Jordan signature on toe cap.

• High performance TPU chassis.

• Michael Jordan thumbprint on back of tongue lining.

• Handcrafted MJ stitch pattern offers beautiful detailing and function.











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