CHAMPION X RICK OWENS SPRING/SUMMER'20
words Filipe Phitzgegard - images courtesy of Champion
Iconic American apparel label Champion has unveiled their latest capsule collection with none other than fashion powerhouse; Rick Owens. During Paris Fashion Week in June last year, the two household names unveiled their collaboration and, now, what was once a runway premier has become a reality attainable to the consumer across the globe. The collection, which is everything you would expect from Champion and Owens, drops this month and will be available in stores and online.
Known for his minimal yet effective approach to design, Rick Owens has become a staple name in the world of fashion gathering a faithful following who are drawn to the heavily monochromatic sharp silhouettes designed and executed by Owns. The capsule collection takes on the monochrome colour palette and has been translated into mesh shorts, oversized togas - signature look by Owens - and futuristic bodysuits.
In talking about the collaboration, Rick Owens has revealed that his relationship with Champion dates back to his humble beginnings in the fashion industry back in the 1990s; “When I started my label in the nineties, I hand drew my logo as a cross between the Champion logo and a Jean Patou perfume label. They both had a similar vintage calligraphic flair… I wasn’t conscious of it then, but I see now how that balance has defined my ongoing aesthetic – a 1930s black and white movie version of both American uniform utility and European glam." So it is no surprise that this capsule collection was meant to happen.
The pieces are beautifully and carefully elevated by the unique Champion logo which has been revamped to accommodate Owen's signature pentagram; "I remember my older, cooler cousins wearing Champion sweatshirts and shorts in the seventies, cementing that logo in my brain..." - he states. Rick's contribution to the collection is also seen on the layering pieces from the lightweight hooded windbreakers and unlined trench coats to the unisex mesh vests and updates to Champion’s signature Reverse Weave sweats while considering some of the most timeless accessories such as the slick bucket hats, caps and headbands.
When talking about the pieces and the design approach, the French designer continues; "With our collaboration, I have turned Champion’s classics into stripped-down togas, loincloths, and robes. Champion kindly accepted doing their logo in black, white, and grey, which we have sprinkled liberally over a range including t-shirts, sweats, distorted hoodies, and windbreakers. Serendipitously, Champion has a factory in Italy 15km from mine allowing us to produce a fully made in Italy collection in the same region under increasingly environmentally responsible conditions.”
The collection perfectly brings together these two universes - Owen's minimal wonderland and Champion's youthfulness - in a well-balanced structure that combines fashionability and functionality while preserving their unique elements when it comes to design. Champion has become a global brand by developing and producing apparel that is fully functional and comfortable without missing the opportunity to be creative or negotiating quality and by working with Rick Owens, a new avenue of possibilities is available.