Our Heritage: 100 years of Champion

 1919 

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

 1926 

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.

 1934 

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.

 1938 

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.

 1950 

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.

 1956 

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.

 1967 

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

 1968 

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.

 1987 

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.

 1992 

CHAMPION AND THE 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.

 2012 

THE RE-LAUNCH OF REVERSE WEAVE

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.

 2017 

CHAMPION OPENS FLAGSHIP STORE IN LONDON

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.

 2017 

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.

 2019 

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. 

 2019 

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.

 2020 

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."

- RICK OWENS

 2020 

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.