Tinker Hatfield was seemingly born to work for Nike. After growing up in Hillsboro, Oregon (a town over from Beaverton, Oregon where the apparel giant is headquartered) and being named the state’s top individual high school athlete in 1970, he went onto study architecture and join the track team at the University of Oregon. There, he was coached by Bill Bowerman, a Co-Founder of Nike. In 1981, he joined the company’s design offices, apparel showrooms and retail outlets. Four years later he began designing Nike products, and four years after that he became creative director of design.
In the nearly three decades since, Hatfield has earned global recognition for his innovative collaborations with Michael Jordan on the Air Jordan line, the Air Max running shoes, Michael Johnson’s gold track spikes and many, many more.