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Corwin Carr is a friendly, freckled kid who’s going places — literally. The adventurous 12-year-old can’t wait to grow up and get his pilot’s license so he can explore the world as a 747 pilot. Corwin’s sky-high ambitions are clearly evident on his Stefan Janoski Max, and his team of designers and developers at Nike made sure all of his ideas and inspirations came to life on his shoe.
“We told Corwin to go nuts," says Illustrator and Graphic Designer Alex Picard. "This is the part where you get to go crazy and make something that otherwise wouldn’t exist.” Because Corwin's dream is to fly planes, he knew he wanted airplane iconography to come to life throughout the design. "Corwin’s dream is to be a 747 pilot when he gets older," explains Footwear Designer David Nickless. "So, we worked with Alex on some graphics and ideas just to push the details and story a little further, like the flight wings on the back." On the pilot’s wings that surround Corwin’s logo, there are 40 feathers that represent the 40 surgeries he’s had since he was diagnosed in utero with prune belly and VATER syndrome.
"The images of the plane on the shoe came from technical drawings because Corwin's into the mechanics. The airplane graphics on the Air bubble were his idea," reveals Alex. "At the time, we didn’t even know if we could do that.” The team gave Corwin some options on how they could bring the plane graphic to life on the red Air bag, and ultimately he settled on a white technical drawing. “He pushed us to try things we wouldn’t think to try, and the chance to just slow down and do one project for one person per their desires and inspirations was pretty awesome," says Alex.
"Corwin was very set in what he wanted to do. We were always getting his okay as we were going through the sample process," David explains. "We tried a few things on the insole, including the airport carpet print, but in the end we went with a globe graphic. They have their family motto on the sockliner – SWEATY SHIRTS MAKE BRAIN CELLS WORK – so that’s the first thing you see when you put your foot in."
“Corwin is one of the hardest 12-year-old design directors I’ve ever worked for," David says with a laugh. "He knew exactly what he wanted and was very focused on even the most minute details that define the shoe. That made it fun."

Footwear Developer George Chiou agrees. "Doernbecher is truly a once-in-a-career opportunity." His teammates on the project wholeheartedly agree. “We just tried to put some love into it," says Alex. "Being part of something where you can help another person that’s outside our usual zone, especially for a kid like Corwin," David relates, "is rad".
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