Technical innovation was the basis for business growth for most of Champions history. Inventions like hoodies, reverse weaves, meshes, etc., have been so broadly adopted that these items are now seen as wardrobe fundamentals – from groundbreaking idea to established standard, a true measure of success.
As the design and manufacture of apparel has advanced in parallel to the development of digitally automated technology Champion innovation has kept pace as leader by incorporating new methods and materials including:
• feather weights
• media integration
• vapor stretch
• UV resistance
A long-established internal category for Champion product development has been “performance”. For Champion, performance is typically linked to specific functions of the materials that comprise the product. For example, a fabric that wicks or stretches might fall in that category.
In addition to being a product category and attribute, performance is sometimes used as shorthand for the aspirational feeling communicated by the product.
A frequent challenge for Champions imprinted sportswear business is to develop ways to embody performance when the print or graphic does not actually appear on a performance fabric. In a recent season of Champion graphics this issue was addressed by integrated the visual language of sports media into the graphics through textures, shapes and patterns derived from technological sources.
This visual content was paired with motifs and techniques used in media representations of athletics. As the primary contact point between consumers and sports images the language of video effects – motion, lighting and dimensionality – was repurposed to validate “authentic performance” in the printed graphjic.