Champion: the brand that we all thought was left behind in the ‘90s alongside the rest of the casual streetwear that made up a large chunk of the decade’s aesthetic. But just like the tracksuit, platform trainers and puffer jacket, the American label has made an unprecedented comeback and has us taking style inspiration from Jay-Z circa early ‘90s, as well as our pre-adolescent selves.
It’s a brand revival we should have seen coming, what with fashion’s love with all things ‘90s streetwear that has been doing the rounds for the last few seasons. Logomania has been embraced once more, oversized sweaters are the layer of choice and the only underwear to own are those logo-waistband Calvin Kleins.
Despite having been around since 1919, it was the 1990s that Champion truly came into its own, taking the lead in that activewear as casualwear movement. It’s for that reason that Demna Gvasalia decided to use the Champion script on hoodies in the Vetements SS16 collection, reawakening people’s awareness of the all-American brand once more. Champion, cleverly so, jumped on the back of the Vetements hype and secured collaborations with the Paris-based collective for its upcoming collections, fully propelling it into the spotlight and turning it from ‘90s throwback to fashion-forward label with a loyal following.
Throw in a few collaborations with streetwear masters from around the world and Champion has had one of the most impressive comebacks in history. The best bit? Champion hasn’t deterred from what made it great in the first place. The quality is still there (the brand is still firmly holding on to the winners of best fleece manufacturers, which is no mean feat), the iconic red, white and blue ‘C’ logo remains and it’s a brand that’s simply doing what it does best rather than turning it into something that’s so cool it’s unapproachable.