One of streetwear’s most iconic brands is celebrating a big birthday: Champion has been dressing athletes for 100 years. The US brand founded in 1919 by the Feinbloom brothers intends to celebrate its anniversary with a bang as Magic Johnson himself has been promoting the brand for over a year. It’s a fitting tribute seeing as Champion was the Dream Team’s official supplier when the US basketball team won gold at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
Before becoming a popular brand among athletes and fashionistas, Champion supplied kit to universities including Michigan University in the early 20th century.
It built on this area to become a go-to for the biggest NFL American football teams: the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.
Reverse Weave: the unique manufacturing method that sealed its reputation
Champion built its reputation on its one-of-a-kind textile technology: Reverse Weave. This patented clothing manufacturing method helps stop clothes from shrinking. The brand says: “The idea of the Reverse Weave came from the American coaches of the 40s in order to be able to wash the uniforms of their athletes all together without the risk of damaging them. That’s why to avoid horizontal shrinkage, the fiber fleece is turned upright at the time of creation, hence the name Reverse Weave.” This technology is still used to make the sweatshirts thicker and more resistant to wear and tear.
After disappearing from the limelight in the early Noughties, the brand made a comeback 5 years ago by refocusing its attention on sportswear. Like Fila, Champion brought its vintage models back into fashion to make its mark on the scene with countless collaborations and winning over former fans and fresh faces: Bape, Vetements and Off-White are just some of the brands that have measured up to the US brand respected by anyone who loves beautiful clothes. With its classics that are constantly being reinvented, Champion could well last at least another 100 years.