Champion is a sub-brand of Hanes that makes casual athletic wear. The brand has been around since 1919, but wasn’t hugely popular until the 1980’s and 1990’s when the brand started producing all of the uniforms for the NBA and some of the uniforms for the NFL. This is also the time when Champion sweatshirts were worn as streetwear and were very popular among males and females of all ages. Young women were wearing the sweatshirts very baggy over leggings, while many men wore them over turtle necks.
Jay Z Wearing Champion sportswear circa 1990’s
It is rumored that the reason why Champion sportswear is becoing popular again is because high-end fashion brand Vetements created Champion inspired sweatshirts in a collaboration for their 2017 Spring-Summer collection. These sweatshirts were going for $1,000 each, while the original Champion items range anywhere from $25 to $60 traditionally. Basically, it was the trickle down effect.
After this unexpected high-end flipping of the brand, fashion influencers and bloggers have been spreading the trend like wildfire. The brand is being spotted on the shelves next to Calvin Klein and Adidas Originals in trendy retail stores like Pac Sun and Urban Outfitters, where all of the newest fashion crazes are available to the public.
Whether Champion sportswear is reemerging because of its high-end collaborations or because we have cycled through all long-lost athletic wear brands already, we should celebrate the fact that an affordable brand is the new “it girl” instead of expensive or exclusive brands that we usually lust after.