Never Done Challenging Convention

Department of Nike Archives

We built our reputation on challenging the status quo. Our latest collection, Nike Circa 72, re-imagines past innovations for future generations.

Last updated: 8 June 2022
4 min read
Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72
Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72

Our most iconic fits feel natural. A versatile Windrunner. A supportive Swoosh sports bra. A colourful pair of Waffle Ones. These staples feel like they have always existed, ready to pull out of the wardrobe whenever you need to make a statement.

It wasn't always that way, though. Each of these pieces started as a bold idea, one that represented a brave new direction for us. The Circa 72 Collection is a celebration of that bravery and innovation. Fifty years in the making, the Circa 72 Collection re-invents iconic Nike pieces for the next generation of athletes.

Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72
Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72

1978, Original Windrunner Sketch, by Diane Katz

1979, Original Women's Windrunner (Not for sale)
1976, Debut of "Baby Teeth" Logo

2022, Nike Sportswear Women's Boxy T-Shirt
1976, "Baby Teeth" logo, by Geoff Hollister

1978, Original Windrunner Sketch, by Diane Katz

1979, Original Women's Windrunner (Not for sale)
1976, Debut of "Baby Teeth" Logo

2022, Nike Sportswear Women's Boxy T-Shirt
1976, "Baby Teeth" logo, by Geoff Hollister

Take the Windrunner, a garment designed for function as rain poured on runners in Portland, Oregon during off-season training. In 1978, when Diane Katz—Nike's first professionally trained apparel designer—and Geoff Hollister—Nike's third employee—first crafted the Windrunner, the activewear category barely existed. Katz looked to weather-resistant ski fabrics to inspire her vision and she set out with invention in mind.

Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72

The process was a puzzle. How could Katz take traditionally technical fabric and make it movable, breathable, suitable for long and short runs? And how could she take all of these conflicting ideas and create a compelling design piece? She worked tirelessly, endlessly prototyping jackets until she came across the famous silhouette you know today.

Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72

Katz and Hollister had done their jobs. However, the Windrunner was not instantly approved. The jacket was the first collaboration between the company and an experienced activewear designer, and the company held every detail under a microscope.

It's hard to believe that the Windrunner was an unprecedented—and controversial—garment. But that's how it happened. Over the years, Nike's apparel and sneaker lines have continued to push the boundaries of what came before, inspiring what comes next.

The Circa 72 Collection exclusively features pieces that speak to this history of testing boundaries, athletics-inspired staples that recall colours and patterns from our earliest days in Oregon. Key items like the line's sports bra, tracksuit jacket and T-shirt feature Geoff Hollister's "baby teeth" block-letter wordmark, a throwback to the rebellious ideas that carried as Nike found its footing.

This legacy is what the Circa 72 Collection is all about—a testament to Nike's history of innovation and invention. These pieces represent big ideas, dreams that continue to resonate 50 years later. Each Circa 72 piece is a tribute to the past, re-imagined and reconstructed for the future.

Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72
Never Done Challenging Convention: Circa 72

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