A handful of high-ranking Nike designers left the company in November, sneaker industry sources tell Complex. Among them are Sergio Lozano, who started at Nike in 1990 and is best known as the designer of the Air Max 95, and Nate Jobe, a senior footwear design director who executed Virgil Abloh’s “The Ten” collection, the first collaboration between Nike and his Off-White brand.
Chad Knight, a director of 3D footwear design who started at Nike in 2016, and Tom Rushbrook, a global senior design director for men’s sports style innovation who was there since 2011, also left the company in November, according to sources.
Nike did not respond to a request for comment about the departures.
The most tenured in the group is Lozano, who worked on designing product for Nike’s tennis, training, and All Conditions Gear lines before creating the Air Max 95. Aside from that classic running sneaker, his portfolio at Nike includes the Air Max 98, the Air Tuned Max, and the Air Max 2003. His most recent title at Nike was senior design director of footwear for men’s and women’s performance basketball.
Lozano did not respond to a request for comment.
Jobe’s work on sneakers at Nike in the last decade ranges from NikeLab to ACG to ISPA and more. According to his LinkedIn profile, he started at Nike in 2010 after spending four years at Converse and three years at Adidas before that. At Converse, Jobe helped build the brand’s collaboration product via its First String line.
Jobe (through a third party) and Rushbrook declined to comment.
Knight, a successful NFT artist who designed the cover art for Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More” single with SZA, is the new head of cyber-wear for the Wilder World metaverse. In a statement to Complex, he expressed excitement over the opportunity to contribute to the metaverse, which he believes will be the most impactful innovation in human history.
“I want to help create that future and that was not an opportunity at Nike given the old guard’s and MBA’s lack of interest in ideas that aren’t their own,” said Knight. “Unfortunately you cannot have ideas about subject matter unless you possess knowledge of it.”