Our Heritage: 100 years of Champion


Champion is Born

Three members of the Feinbloom family came together with a vision to create a new, exciting sportwear business in Rochester, NY. The company was started in 1919 as Knickerbocker Knitting Mills


Champion Supports their first team

After developing a line of sweaters and sportswear, Champion partnered with Wentworth Military Academy to provide their school uniform. This would be the first of many teams that Champion supported.


Birthday of college Apparel

Champion partnered with Moe's Sport Shop to introduce collegiate sweatshirts and tees with University of Michigan Insignia. This gave birth to collegiate apparel as we know it, including the first ever hooded sweatshirt. The hoodie was designed and developed for practical reasons as a warm up or “sideline” garment for athletes to wear in-between game time or practice sessions.

champion knitwear linechampion knitwear line
reverse patentreverse patent


Champion patents the Reverse Weave Sweatshirt

To overcome the shrinkage that came with frequent washing of sports apparel, Champion invented the world's first engineered sweatshirt. Cut on the grossgrain, the Reverse Weave sweatshirt prevents shrinkage and was quickly picked up by sports teams acoss the US. Invented in 1934, Champion applied for patenting in 1938 which was eventually granted in 1952.


Champion Introduces new physical education uniforms

To help address low fitness levels in American children, Champion introduced modern PE uniforms that would be the standard for decades to come. The product line was of such high quality, it was the first to be certifed by the American Institute of Laundering.

new champion uniformnew champion uniform
the signature cthe signature c


Champion Introduces the signature 'C'

Champion's now familiar “C” appeared for the first time and was affixed from then on to the left sleeve of each sweatshirt. This logo and positioning would become synonymous with Champion.


Champion Introduces the nylon mesh jersey

The mesh nylon jersey was first designed to meet the needs of football players, combatting the effects of heat exhaustion and enhancing performance. They were such a success that Champion expanded them to basketball; our jerseys quickly became an industry standard and were copied by many competitors

women's athleticswomen's athletics


Champion and women's athletics

Champion transformed women's athletic market by introducing stylish, mix-and-match Physical Education uniforms in 1968. We became a leader in athletic uniforms in the 70s and have continued our commitment to women through the years with innovative products to serve female athletes, including the pioneering the sports bra.


Music culture adopts Champion style

Starting in the late 80s and early 90s, Champion experiences a surge in adoption among celebrities and musicians - becoming synonymous with a different kind of team. New York City is ground zero for the trend, which sees huge endorsement in music genres like hip-hop and punk.

champion stylechampion style
champion and NBAchampion and NBA



Champion was the official outfitter of all 27 teams of the National Basketball Association and outfitted every USA basketball team from 1989-2001. Champion's jerseys were proudly worn by the first men's"Dream Team" – the first American Olympic basketball team to feature active professional players from the NBA and the first women's Dream Team in 1996. NBA Champion Glen Rice famously set a record for the Miami Heat wearing Champion shoes.



To mark the 60th Anniversary of the year when Champion first patented the Reverse Weave Sweatshirt, Champion relaunched the legendary Reverse Weave Sweatshirt across Europe.

reverse weavereverse weave
flagship storeflagship store



Built on the success of almost a century of heritage, Champion establishes itself as a premium player in the world of sport and fashion with its first European store opening in London's iconic Soho district, followed by Amsterdam's trendy Jorddan neighbourhood.


The Champion Hoodie Becomes an Icon

As testament to Champion's rich heritage, the Reverse Weave Hoodie was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as part of the exhibition 'Items: Is Fashion Modern?' which displayed fashion items that have had a strong impact on modern society. In 2018, the hoodie became part of the permanent collection.

reverse weave hoodiereverse weave hoodie
champion x cloth surgeonchampion x cloth surgeon


Champion x Cloth Surgeon

Clothsurgeon joined forces with the heritage sportswear giant Champion to deliver an Ivy League-inspired collection that reenergises the collegiate styles of the 40s-60s. The collection sees classic styles like varsity jackets, letterman hoodies, and cardigans elevated through the expert tailoring that has become synonymous with clothsurgeon, seamlessly. fusing function and style. 


100 years for the team

Champion marks its 100th birthday with a celebration of 'The Team', connecting with the most interesting and passionate teams across the globe. Champion continues to create timeless classics for the champions of today, and tomorrow.

champion logochampion logo


Champion x Rick Owens

"When I started my label in the nineties, I hand drew my logo as a cross between the Champion logo and a Jean Patou perfume label… They both had a similar vintage calligraphic flair… I wasn’t conscious of it then but I see now how that balance has defined my ongoing aesthetic – a 1930s black and white movie version of both American uniform utility and European glam… I remember my older, cooler cousins wearing Champion sweatshirts and shorts in the seventies, cementing that logo in my brain… with our collaboration I have turned Champion’s classics into stripped down togas, loincloths, and robes… Champion kindly accepted doing their logo in black, white, and grey, which we have sprinkled liberally over a range including t-shirts, sweats, distorted hoodies, and windbreakers."


champion x chiara ferragnichampion x chiara ferragni


Champion x Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni, the most famous female digital entrepreneur in the world and globally-renowned sportswear brand Champion Europe joined forces with an energetic SS20 capsule collection.

Inspired by Chiara’s signature aesthetic while paying homage to Champion’s sportswear heritage, classic athleisure staples are reimagined from a hyper-feminine perspective, fusing dream-like pastel shades and pops of metallic with grittier sportswear silhouettes and authentic materials including Champion’s signature Reverse Weave.



Champion x 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” - Craig Green.


champion x craig greenchampion x craig green
super mario brossuper mario bros


Champion x Super Mario Bros.™

Celebrating 35 years of Super Mario Bros.™, the limited edition collection features Champion classics reimagined with graphic prints from the archives.


Champion x Muhammad Ali™

A champion of justice and equality, Ali™ took his fight from ring to the world stage with conviction and eloquence. Round 1 of Champion x Muhammad Ali™ explores the Six Core Principles that fueled his journey to greatness.

"Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision."

- Muhammad Ali

super mario brossuper mario bros
champion x craig greenchampion x craig green


Champion x Rick Owens

Following the debut collaboration in 2020, Champion and Rick Owens are pleased to announce the official launch of their second collaborative collection. Celebrating Champion’s rich heritage and Rick Owens’ signature aesthetic, the collection is formed for both men and women and offers a fresh twist on modern essentials.