The History of Nike Challenge Court
Nike Challenge court was first released in the late 80’s by Nike apparel designer Tom Andrich. Inspired by the personality of rising star Andre Agassi, the collection tried to break misconceptions of the sport being a ‘posh, plain country club affair’ but actually very stylised and groundbreaking.
At the time all that was worn on the courts was plain white in most competitions. However when Nike signed Agassi as one of their own pro athletes, instead of trying to tame his anti-establishment attitude, they ran with is and designed him an array of crazy outfits that accentuated it.
The first time this was seen on the court was at the 1990 French Open where Agassi lost in the final due to his ‘mullet wig getting in his eyes’ which really tells you everything you need to know about him.
The pieces Agassi wore in the years to come would become so iconic that they even made their way onto mainstream American Sitcoms and movie posters.
Nowadays the late 80’s/ early 90’s pieces are as rare as they come in the collectable world of Nike. They offer such a unique insight into the up and coming fashion of the time and quintessentially epitomise the era.
Although the most eye-catching of the pieces worn by Agassi is the fluorescent polo shirts, it is in fact the acid wash shorts that are the most sort after and rarest to find. With an almost denim like thickness to them and flashes of colour from the undersign layer these go down in the hall of fame for vintage Nike.