Champion links with Craig Green for archive-inspired capsule
Sport-to-street brand Champion has announced a collaboration with British menswear designer Craig Green via a capsule collection of nine styles that reference and reinvent ideas from the Champion archives.
The company said the pieces “celebrate the functionality at the root of design and the community found through clothing – core beliefs of both Champion and Craig Green”.
They launch in Europe next week and in Japan at the end of September.
The offer is split into two main stories. For the first, Green took archive collegiate graphics from uniforms supplied to American colleges in the 60s through to the 90s. Topstitched over these are patches that “interpret numerical symbols, each signifying the specific decade”.
They appear on the back of sweatshirts, jerseys and zip-necks while the fronts are entirely black. A bleach-out printing technique has been used to “ensure the colours have an archival resonance, with each sweater finished with an external woven patch corresponding to its decade of origin. These patches are trapped by embroidery to the body of the garment and designed to hang free, like a docket slip in an archive”.
For the second story, Green explored the brand’s century of technical innovations in a series of sweatshirts, hoodies and jerseys. He uses the ribbed gussets that brought movement, comfort and functionality to sportswear but they’re now “pushed far beyond their usual scale, becoming elemental shapes that reflect the symbolic language in Green’s work”.
The designer said of the collection: “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.”
The campaign imagery was shot with Green’s long-term collaborator Amy Gwatkin. They created a series of mechanical structures to hold pieces from the collection, “interacting with each other like sports players. These structures were made to resemble exercise equipment or homemade gyms”. The images were shot on the empty playing fields of a British school.
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