We Were There (Nike AirMax)

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Air Max 90, The Whitaker Group has teamed up with PEL of PELNYC to host an art collective that takes you on a 25-year journey. Commemorating the last two and a half decades, he highlights pop culture, entertainment, trends and events of important historical record. Using the Air Max 90 silhouette as the constant variable, the series reminds you that this beloved shoe has been on foot through many major events. Offering a unique perspective of significant moments, each piece triggers memories and evokes emotion as one recalls, reflects and enjoys the creative take on milestones throughout the life of the sneaker. 



Twenty-five years ago the Nike Air Max 90 is “born.” An artistic impression of the introduction of the Nike Air Max 90.


A representation of the “FLIR-Cat” plane painted by Pel of PELNYC on the nose of the top-secret VF-103 FLIR Lantrin plane during his service in the Navy in 1995. The “FLIR-Cat” was made into a collectible die-cast model, manufactured by the Franklin Mint amongst others. 



For this tribute to Michael Jordan’s influence and contribution to basketball and entertainment, Pel of PELNYC reinvents the artwork he created of the Nike Banned One's advertisement. Pel was 1 of 50 worldwide artists selected to create art for “Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday celebrated through Nike” collection featured in the Houston Museum of fine arts in 2013.


“A million songs in your pocket,” the way we listen to music is forever changed when the iPod is introduced in 2001.

Biggie & Tupac 

Often cited as two of the best rappers in history, Tupac Shakur, “2Pac,” and Christopher Wallace, “The Notorious B.I.G.,” were slain in the midst of a heavily growing East Coast/West Coast feud in the early 1990s.

Iraq & Afghanistan

A commemoration to the veterans of the 1990s Gulf War, a war commencing after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, where the veterans donned “chocolate-chip” camouflage in the operation. Later, in the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, veterans combatted in the "coffee stain" camouflage depicted on the sneaker.


A nod to Facebook. Initially launched as a site for Harvard students in 2004, Facebook went on to introduce and change the world’s social interaction over the internet with over 1.2 billion users and growing.


The Gameboy is the first of its kind to be introduced and “handily” beats out its fourth generation of gaming rivals with the help of its bundle companion game, making it a cult phenomenon.


An outlook on the September 11th tragedy and memorial to the heroes and lives lost.


Harry Potter becomes a world-wide phenomenon embraced by people of all ages. From the release of the first novel in 1997, the book sets records for being one of the best-selling series in history. In addition, it becomes one of the highest grossing film-series and the franchise expands into a Harry Potter theme park and resort.


A memorial to Nelson Mandela, a man who following a 20-year anti-apartheid campaign, became South Africa’s first black President in 1994 and leaves a legacy of global peace.

The Simpsons 

The longest running American sitcom and animated program starts and becomes a pop culture staple.


In 1996, “Pocket Monsters,” or Pokémon, invade and capture the hearts of millions when imagination allows master trainers to battle their Pokémon for sport. Pokémon is the second most successful and lucrative video game-based media franchise in the world.


A representation for Earth Day, a holiday that became internationally recognized by 141 nations in 1990. Celebrated annually on April 22nd, this artistic expression gives support for environmental protection and awareness.


Do you remember the web before Google? And when Google was just a noun and not a verb? In September 1998, the Google search page is launched and quickly becomes the standard on how we search and analyze data on the web.


A representation of the Japanese landmark and coming-of-age science fiction anime, Akira debuts in the United States in 2001 garnering a dedicated worldwide following.

Miracle on the Hudson

In January 2009, 155 passengers and crew were successfully evacuated from the partially submerged aircraft before it sank after captain Sully heroically made an emergency water landing in the NYC Hudson River.


A homage to the late great King of Pop, Michael Jackson. His contribution to the world, the music, and entertainment industry parallel very few.

Happy / Pharrell 

A nod to the feel-good song “Happy”, written, produced and performed by artist Pharrell Williams (and the minions of Despicable Me 2), the best-selling song of 2014  and one of the best-selling singles of all time. 


The  Statue Of Liberty closes after the 9/11 attacks. Eight long years later, she steps back in with a special re-opening of the crown on Independence Day July 4, 2009.

BP Oil Spill & Clean-up 

Ruled to be caused by the gross negligence and reckless conduct of BP, the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the largest accidental marine oil spill and most expensive clean-up in the history of the petroleum industry. 

Obama Hope

Running on campaign themes of hope and change, Barack Obama alters history when he becomes the first black President of the United States. Elected into office as the 44th president in 2008, he was later re-elected in 2012.


In April 2011, a fairy tale comes to life when a prince weds a commoner. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, marries Catherine Middleton stirring an international adornment of the couple.


A “quick” nod to Sonic the Hedgehog, a videogame and character introduced in 1991 praised for its visuals, music, and speed. The 8-bit character evolves into one of Sega’s lasting key characters with multiple media adaptations such as cartoons and movies.


A representation of the birth of the next 25 years for the Nike Air Max 90.