Earlier this year, Nike released their Challenge Court Collection ahead of the 2020 U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows – a clothing collection that pays homage to the inimitable style and aesthetic of tennis great Andre Agassi.
Agassi was and always will be the rogue rock star of men’s tennis. From his hot-lava spandex tights, iconic denim shorts, to that outrageous mullet with frosted-tips – Agassi’s on-court style arguably defined a significant chunk of 90s era sports culture. But Agassi wasn’t just an unbelievably talented tennis player – he challenged the status quo of professional tennis at the time; bringing attitude, flair and edge to an otherwise conservative and gentlemanly sport.
Agassi’s rebellious style reached peak momentum in Portland during the 1987 season, when Nike reps invited him up to their hotel suite to view the latest Nike outfits.
In his autobiography ‘Open’ Andre details in his own words exactly how the encounter went down:
“I was playing the Nike International Challenge and Nike reps invited me up to a hotel suite to show me the latest demos and clothing samples. McEnroe was there, and of course, he was given first choice. He held up a pair of denim shorts and said, What the fuck are these? My eyes got big. I licked my lips and thought, Whoa. Those are cool. If you don’t want those, Mac, I’ve got dibs.“
In a nostalgic throwback to this golden era of sports fashion, Nike has since released its modern edition of Agassi’s iconic style aesthetic: the Nike Challenge Court Collection.
The new collection launched on August 17 to Nike affiliated athletes and featured on-court in New York City during the 2020 U.S. Open. The iconic Nike collection has since been released to the general public in late August.