When Rick Owens first crossed paths with Champion in 2019, their worlds meshed perfectly, opening the doors to a collaborative future that would continue to bare fruit on an annual basis. Now, in their fourth year, the pair expands their palette, further building upon the foundations set in their debut.
On the surface, at first glance, a collection from Rick Owens and Champion feels somewhat obtuse. While their knocking of heads has certainly proven its merits over the past three years, for some, it still begs the question: why?
It's a question that Rick himself answers best. He shared with Highsnobiety exclusively: "Doing collabs like this helps me, a 20-year-old label, and established brand like 104-year-old Champion explore new ways to produce responsibly together. Change doesn't happen overnight, but collabs like ours can help us both progress.
Our Champion collab is produced 20 kilometers from our factory in Italy, and the fabrics are GOTS certified or recycled, charting a healthy direction for both of us."
On an aesthetic level, these collections, both past and present, have been shown to value the integrity of both brands, with the oversized, draped silhouettes you'd expect of Rick Owens married to the heavyweight jersey you'd expect of Champion.
A continuous thread at the center of their partnership is the meshing of their signature motifs, birthing the "corrupted" Champion emblem, which is ever-present within the 2023 collection.
As Rick puts it: "This season continues our liberal use of Champion's logo corrupted with my pentagram. I use a pentagram as a camp anti-bigotry symbol. A gentle poke at judgment. I get to softly corrupt a symbol of American jock-dom that was calling me a weirdo in my youth.
The world can be a narrow-minded place, and my personal agenda is to suggest tolerance and empathy in my own tiny way in every place I can. Champion helps me do that."
One thing that you'll notice that seperates the pair's 2023 collection, is the addition of red coloring throughout. While black, grey, and beige tones (staples of their collaborative output) remain, bold strikes of "Dark Red" offer balance byways of statement-making, giving the season something to display with pride.
On offer, you'll find sweatshirts and tees, mesh vests, shorts, light outerwear, and underwear, all complete with the Rick Owens x Champion signature. Best of all? It's available from May 26 via Rick Owens stores and online.