NikeCourt Offers a retro look into this year’s US Open collection. Inspired by the one and only Andre Agassi
If Nike’s take on tennis in the 1980s offered subtle jabs at country club convention, the brand’s early-90s approach delivered a knockout punch.
Arriving on the emergent Andre Agassi at the tail end of 1990, the Nike Challenge Court apparel collection defined a whole new energy for tennis in the early part of the decade. On the courts of Flushing, Queens, Agassi reached the second Slam final of his career. His look, style and attitude — the mix of denim, neon and surf/skate-like geometric graphics — pulled tennis into the now.
The Challenge Court logo itself was Inspired by an accidental ink blot. It was almost the grunge response to ‘80s pop art, and it naturally fit an era of dynamic change for the sport. Agassi wasn’t just rising in the tennis ranks, he was a pop culture juggernaut. The Challenge Court look propelled advertisements extolling the virtues of playing loud and even a “Rock & Roll Tennis Camp.”
“Bringing back a historical collection from 30 years ago was inspiring, challenging and really fun,” says Abby Swancutt, NikeCourt Design Director. “We know the pieces from 30 years ago still resonate today.”
Reprising the core Challenge Court hallmarks (jorts, crop tops, neon, spandex and that logo), the 2020 collection combines the unmistakable flare with a contemporary material palette. Just as in the 1990s, there are looks for women and men. And, just as in the 1990s, the collection treads the line between performance wear and in-the-know leisure wear.
“We created each piece to make sure we didn’t sacrifice the aesthetic and nostalgia, but also didn’t compromise performance,” says Swancutt.
Shop the Men’s Nike Challenge Court Collection: Here
Shop the Women’s Nike Challenge Court Collection: Here
The 2020 Challenge Court Collection will feature at court during play in Cincinnati (from August 22) and New York City (from August 31). The collection launches August 17 to Nike Members, followed by a general release August 24.
The latest Fall NikeCourt 2020 US Open Challenge Court collection can be purchased at the following TennisWarehouse.com link or in Europe at TennisWarehouse-Europe.com. Canadian residents can shop their favorite pieces at Tennis Giant.