Tinker Hatfield Jordan 30
Images via Nike

by Brandon Richard

According to Tinker Hatfield, the design process for the Air Jordan XXX began last February, when Michael Jordan asked him to spearhead the anniversary model's design during a pre-birthday dinner. Realizing that he was up against time, Hatfield sketched an initial concept the following day.

“The next morning I drew a shoe,” Hatfield explains. "Because I knew I was in deep trouble. We had no time. Then I realized it wasn’t good enough to sketch a shoe. I asked for that particular photo of Michael in the slam dunk contest and then I drew.”

The photo Hatfield references is the other iconic image from the 1988 dunk contest, a front angle of Jordan with the ball cocked behind his ear and legs bent beneath his body. The figure in the illustration was transformed into a character Hatfield calls "Mister Cosmos," the inspiration behind the Jordan XXX's galactic theme.

See Hatfield's year-long design process for the latest Jordan flagship sneakers in the series of sketches, renderings and samples below.