Everything was neon in 1990. If you take a look at the Heritage Timeline on this site, you’ll immediately notice that every tile is filled with vibrant colors and wild graphics. Nike had their Challenge Court Collection for Agassi, Aqua Gear, the Lava Dome and Baltoro in Hiking, and even splatter prints and lime greens incorporated into basketball sneakers like the Air Flight. Reebok had neon orange and green Basketball Pumps, and the Court Victory Pump matched the color and fuzziness of tennis balls.
Before the term Action Sports even existed, this look was everywhere in skateboarding, surfing, skiing and snowboarding too. In skateboarding, brands like Powell, Sims and Santa Cruz incorporated day-glo colors into their decks, wheels, apparel and graphics. One of the best examples is the old-school Slime Balls sticker. In surfing all you have to do is look at the old Body Glove wetsuits to get the picture. In snowboarding, Burton had some great jackets for Jeff Brushie (that are actually coming back this year), that you would swear were Nike Windrunners.
Skiing was where the colors were really popping off on white mountains with brands like The North Face, CB Sports, Gerry and Obermeyer. I actually just started noticing some Gerry and CB Sports ads popping up around New York City, so we’ll see what happens. Typically when 1990’s brands re-launch out of nowhere, they are heavy on nostalgia and light on self-awareness and execution, but we’ll look at some original pieces from that era and hope they come close.