Nike has become synonymous with athleticism. Otis Davis won a gold medal in the 400-meter dash in the 1960 Olympics while wearing the founders’ first designs. Since then, Nike has worked with some of the most talented athletes in the world beyond track and field.
Founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by Bill Bowerman, a track-and-field coach at the University of Oregon, and his former student Phil Knight. The founders understood that there was a demand for cheaper but still high-quality alternatives to Adidas and Pumas – two shoe brands that dominated the market at the time.
They opened their first retail outlet in 1966 and launched the Nike brand shoe in 1972. The company was renamed Nike, Inc., in 1978 after the success of their first design.
The curved check mark called the “swoosh” is now recognized throughout the world. Decades later, Nike has hundreds of stores all over the world. Vintage enthusiasts love to scour for originals. The designs were so popular that Nike began to remake the retro styles to accommodate demand as well as cause a frenzy when vintage styles are introduced in new colorways. Coveted vintage Nike goes beyond footwear and extends into vintage crewneck sweatshirts, logo-heavy vintage tanks and vintage jackets. It is one of the most searched for brands when most think of retro streetwear. The enduring allure will remain for Nike as it has transcended into an iconic sportswear brand.