Champion Heritage

Reclaiming tradition

In 1919 Abe and Bill Feinbloom founded the as the Knickerbocker Knitting Company in Rochester, New York. After two decades of success, circa 1940, the business was renamed Champion. From humble beginnings, Champion has persisted to become the oldest American-founded company among similar category brands like Nike, Puma and Addidas.

The Champion business was built on a constant series of of innovations. Apparel features and attributes that did not exist before they were invented by Champion are now industry standard and in almost every American wardrobe. A short list of Champion product developments reveals the influence that the brand has had on today’s typical wardrobe:

• hooded sweatshirts (“hoodies”)
• the reverse-weave sweatshirt
• imprinted T-shirts
• nylon mesh uniforms
• flocked printing on athletic wear
• nylon mesh uniforms
• Screen-printed numbers and
• letters on athletic uniforms

By inventing almost every major feature of athletic apparel Champion has earned – and owns – a rich story of industry successes and milestones. The stories and history of Champion are the most fundamental assets underlying its reputation and brand equity. Leveraging its heritage based narrative while also bringing the brand alive by modulating expression to align with customer segments and marketplace trends has Champion on track to evolve into a premium brand position.

Recent inititives to elevate the brand include a number of partnerships with influential designers and tastemakers like Supreme, the CMJ music festival and designer Todd Snyder.

Todd Snyder, named as one of GQ’s Best New Menswear Designers, opened the Liquor Store boutique for J. Crew and has had his own Todd Snyder line carried in Barney’s New York. Todd Snyder + Champion t-shirts and sweatshirts retail for $85. – $130.

Design work for the Todd Snyder + Champion collaboration was rooted in the authentic heritage of Champion and  included an extensive series of graphic studies informed by archival Champion graphic assets that were both recreated and reimagined for application in the upscale marketplace.

PROJECT CLIENT:
hanesbrands inc.
PROJECT TEAM:
brand director: joanne sessler
apparel director: maade sedikki
designer: john schettino

DELIVERABLES:
  • logo design
  • label design
  • typography