Champion is thrilled to announce a collaboration with the British menswear designer Craig Green. For this capsule collection of nine styles, Green has explored the archives of Champion, the renowned manufacturer of authentic, athletic apparel. The resulting pieces celebrate the functionality at the root of design and the community found through clothing – core beliefs of both Champion and Craig Green.
“Champion has such an incredible history and archive of collegiate uniforms. For me, the collegiate graphics relate to being part of a team and belonging to something, and I like how these pieces were originally created for this function. We explored classic Champion construction details and how elements intended for a purely technical purpose can form the design aesthetic,” says Craig Green.
Champion x CRAIG GREEN is split into two main stories. For the first, Green took collegiate graphics from the Champion archives, each of uniforms supplied to American colleges in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Topstitched over these are patches that interpret numerical symbols, each signifying the specific decade. For Green, these patches reference the woven sports badges that are so much part of the collegiate uniform.
These appear on the back of sweatshirts, jerseys and zip-necks. The fronts are entirely black, a juxtaposition from Green’s interest in the contrast between light and dark, and the divergent sides of our character. A bleach-out printing technique has been used to ensure the colours have an archival resonance, with each sweater finished with an external woven patch corresponding to its decade of origin. These patches are trapped by embroidery to the body of the garment and designed to hang free, like a docket slip in an archive.
For the second story, Green explored the technical innovations that have given Champion its unsurpassed reputation for over 100 years. In a series of sweatshirts, hoodies and jerseys, Green looks at the ribbed gussets that brought movement, comfort and functionality to sportswear. These panels are pushed far beyond their usual scale, becoming elemental shapes that reflect the symbolic language in Green’s work.
The campaign imagery was shot with Green’s long-term collaborator Amy Gwatkin. They created a series of mechanical structures to hold pieces from the collection, interacting with each other like sports players. These structures were made to resemble exercise equipment or homemade gyms, the images were shot on the empty playing fields of a British school.
UK Europe launch date – 3rd September 2020.
Available from retailers, Champion Soho, Champion Amsterdam and www.championstore.com