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The History Of Champion
Founded in 1919 as Knickerbocker Knitting Mills, the company specialized in athletic apparel. The brand developed sports team uniforms in collaboration with different US universities during its early years. With the introduction of the hoodie garment in the 1930's, the brand began its transition into the iconic brand that we know today. It was also renamed 'Champion Knitting Mills' at the time.
In the late 1960s, Champion expanded its product line to include athletic footwear. As part of this expansion, Champion launched a footwear line, providing athletes with quality shoes that enhanced their performance. Running, basketball, and tennis shoes likely made up the brand's footwear lineup. The company's name was officially changed in the late 60's to Champion and the company's logo, the soon-to-be iconic 'C' design from the 1950s, was used.
The Champion sneakers became a fashion statement because of streetwear and hip-hop culture, contributing to their recognition as footwear. These sneakers became highly sought after and frequently featured in music videos and became symbols of street style. With its classic designs and trademark 'C' logo, Champion became an internationally recognized footwear brand.
HanesBrands Inc. acquires Champion, enabling further footwear development. Champion gained access to extensive distribution channels and resources with the acquisition from HanesBrands Inc. As a result, the company reached a wider audience and invested in the design, production, and marketing of its footwear products.
A revival in streetwear and athleisure trends coincided with Champion's footwear's revival in popularity. The Champion brand gained new attention during this period due to its athleisure and streetwear fashion offerings. In addition to their retro-inspired designs, comfortable construction, and strong reputation, Champion's sneakers and casual shoes are in high demand.
As a symbol of timeless design throughout the sportswear industry, Champion continues to be a leading innovator. Through exciting collaborations with well-known names, such as designer Craig Green, Beastie Boys, Smiley®, Harley-Davidson®, and Stranger Things, the company continues to expand its creativity.