It's been 20 years since the Nike Air Max 95 first took the running sneaker world by storm with its neck-breaking gradient grey upper, dizzying layered lines, and glowing neon yellow accents. Now, the designer of the sneaker, Sergio Lozano, is shedding light on how the daring design almost never even happened.

"The first concept review for the Air Max 95 wasn't a success across the board, some people thought it was good and others didn't like it at all," Lozano said. “There were some great champions who stood behind the idea and without them the shoe wouldn’t have been made.”

 

That wasn't the only hurdle Lozano and his team had to overcome during the design process. “We figured Nike was pretty recognizable as a brand and that the design could stand on it’s own. Why did we need it? We already had visible air and we were debuting forefoot visible air on top of that,” Lozano said. "We applied the Swoosh to act as punctuation. Needless to say that was another big point of contention."

At the end of the day, Lozano remembers the polarizing reaction being a good indicator that he had stumbled onto something big. "Don't get me wrong, the feedback was not overwhelmingly negative but it wasn’t an instant success either. There were lovers and haters. But you know you’re on to something when you get that kind of emotional reaction," Lozano said. 

Stay tuned for more untold Air Max 95 stories as Nike celebrates the seminal silhouette's 20th anniversary and head over to Nike now for the full interview with Sergio Lozano.