Upon first inspection of the Denim Tears x Champion lookbook, Corona's "The Rhythm of the Night" started playing ambiently at the back of my head; naturally, the next step was to tap my toes and start humming.
A strange choice of actions, you might think, when flicking through images of an apparel collection; but on deeper inspection of the inspirations behind Denim Tears' meeting with Champion, the feelings all make sense.
For this Fall/Winter 2021 creative partnership, Tremaine Emory – aka Denim Tears – has taken Champion as a catalyst for exploration into the backstory of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. The company is regarded as one of the greatest Black-founded American cultural arts companies of all time, which has been uniting people through dance since 1958.
The company's founder and namesake, Alvin Ailey, is also regarded as one of the leading Black cultural innovators of the 20th century, founded the company to enrich American modern dance heritage while actively preserving the African-American cultural experience.
At the heart of the theater's rich history is a strong cultural and socio-political awareness, which Emory has explored to build a tapestry of Black history. Within the apparel lines, you'll find graphic prints of Alvin Ailey, stills of dancers, all with color references to the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association).
Denim Tears x Champion's "Champion Tears" collection is available to shop online now.