CHAMPION JAPAN: END OF AN ERA?

championoshmans

For years — as is well documented here — Champion Europe didn’t understand its core appeal. In Japan, its longtime license holder Goldwin, Inc. did great things — they revered the archives and amplified the brand’s core appeal to make it a premium brand. Bearing in mind that Goldwin Inc. owns The North Face license for Japan and South Korea too, and instigated the superb Purple Label line, it’s not too much of a surprise. Over the last year (possibly down to the shock the brand got when Supreme London stocked the collaborations and circumvented the unexceptional Euro channels), they’ve started creating good pieces that can be purchased at stores like Oi Polloi — as solid as they are, the craftsmanship of the US-made Goldwin pieces is missing. HanesBrand acquired Champion around 2006 and according to Reuters, on March 31st 2016, Goldwin are handing their Champion brand business back to HanesBrand Japan. Will the new owner maintain the small-scale runs and premium pieces in spots like Oshmans, or will they maintain that production as part of their model? As a precaution, I’ll be bulk buying boxy tees and snug-fitting sweatshirts.