Where original begins
Champion is the premium athleisure destination rooted in original and authentic design.
The home of the hoodie, origin of the sweatshirt, pioneer of the Reverse Weave, Champion has always had innovation at its core. Original designs are elevated with superior craftsmanship and fresh details to become premium athleisure icons.
Built on a century’s worth of heritage, Champion constantly regenerates itself for today. The signature ‘C’ is a symbol of authenticity, worn by artists, athletes and creatives worldwide.
Rochester, NY, U.S.A.
In 1919 the Feinbloom brothers established the company that would become known as “Champion”.
The University business begins with the first partnership with Michigan. They had noticed that Champion was passionate about sports apparel and that they were manufacturing sweatshirts and sweatpants with high quality.
The story began right here and soon Champion’s reputation started to spread as Coaches from Michigan spoke with coaches from other schools and colleges across the U.S.
In the 1930’s the company was renamed Champion Knitting Mills Inc. well known for sweatshirts, t-shirts & athletic socks, they became the brand of choice for college bookstores right across America.
Initially they produced also wool underwear as prototype of the sweatshirt, selling for protection against the cold for outdoor workers but the reputation for functionality and durability grew and grew. It was not long before Champion products were adopted by the US Military cademy to be used during training exercises and physical education classes.
Over a period of time the neck labels changed from the ones of the 40’s and 50’s, where the company name of Champion Knitwear Company with the running man and finish line logo was used.
In the 70’s and 80’s the neck labels evolved and the more familiar classic red and blue fonts on a white background were introduced.
The redesigned logo, the now familiar “C” mark appeared for the first time and it was affixed from then on to the left sleeve of the sweatshirt. This logo and positioning would become synonymous with Champion.
REVERSE WEAVE — HISTORY
Since its birth in 1934, it continues to be loved widely as apioneer of the sweatshirt, as a timeless classic Champion.
The meaning of Reverse Weave comes from the the object to alleviate the sweatshrinks in the vertical direction, so Champion moves the fabric in the transverse direction.
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.
To avoid shrinkage instead in the opposite direction all Reverse Weave sweatshirts, are characterized by the two side panels on the sides. Even cuffs, neck and bottom of the sweatshirts Reverse Weave have the same characteristic of the inserts in order to avoid the dispersion of heat during and after training, keeping the freedom of movement.
REVERSE WEAVE — THE PATENT
In 1938 we saw the initiation of the Patent Application Process in order to certificate and validate the revolutionary and technical procedure called Reverse Weave. The process was only finalized almost fifteen years later in 1952.
During the 1960’s Champion entered into an intensive licensing program, which started with the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) and expanded in the 1970’s with a partnership with the National Football League (NFL).
Champion became famous for creating one of the most important athletic garments of the 20th century, the Hooded Sweatshirt. The hooded sweatshirt was designed and developed for practical reasons and was first introduced as a warm up or “sideline” garment for athletes to wear in-between game time or practice sessions.
Champion transcended what it meant to be an athletic brand by becoming the first Company to produce the Double Sided (or reversible) T-Shirt and the first to develop and manufacture a “Breathable” Nylon Mesh fabric, that would go on to become the staple fabric for basketball Uniforms across the Globe.
Champion further strengthened its position at the forefront of American sport by acquiring the exclusive rights to be the official outfitter of all 27 teams of the National Basketball Association (NBA). This was a golden era for the NBA and this partnership established Champion as the authentic and “go to” Brand for all authentic on court and off court merchandise for the NBA.
Today, many NBA enthusiasts and collectors still hone in on iconic Champion pieces from the 90’s, such was the importance and nostalgia of this decade in the sport of Basketball.
Champion were the official outfitter for the first and arguably the best ever USA Dream Team at the historical Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. The Dream Team went on to win the Gold Medal and this helped Champion establish their reputation as an Authentic, Athletic, Apparel brand in Europe.
To mark the 60th Anniversary of the year when they first patented the Reverse Weave Sweatshirt, Champion relaunched this legendary product in Europe. This also coincided with the increase in demand from key opinion formers, early adopters and fashion savvy consumers who were being influenced by the music and streetwear culture of the 1990’s.
The original, heavyweight and understated line of Sweatshirts, Tee Shirts, Sweatpants and Shorts, all bearing the iconic Champion “C” logo, were introduced to a new generation of consumers proving yet again that there can be many contenders, but only one Champion.