Located at 1520 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the former Aldo Shoes location, the new store is Champion’s third in the United States and first in Chicago. Shoppers can expect to find Champion’s trademark Reverse Weave apparel in an array of T-shirts, hoodies and sweatpants.
There’s also footwear, fanny packs and items specific to Chicago like a “Heart of Champions” T-shirt designed by street artist Joseph “Sentrock” Perez and Chicago-themed patches.
The 1,900-square-foot Champion store joins Adidas, Nike, Rapha, Burton, Lululemon, Fjallraven and other “athleisure” brands that have in recent months or years opened stores near Wicker Park’s Milwaukee, Damen and North avenues intersection.
The nearly century-old maker of athletic apparel and sports uniforms was launched in 1919 and acquired by the Sara Lee Corporation in 1989, which later spun the Champion brand off to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Hanesbrands.
In a news release, Champion described the Wicker Park neighborhood as “the city’s creative epicenter and a diverse area filled with shops, art galleries, theaters and restaurants.”
“Our store provides brand fans an opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Champion through a combination of our heritage, iconic products and customizable apparel,” David Robertson, director of Champion brand marketing, said in a prepared statement.
Robertson described Champion and Chicago as “a perfect match,” citing “a long history of diversity, innovation, individuality and a strong tie to sports.”
“Adjacencies definitely play a part, as Champion wants to be in the areas that are most relevant to its consumers but it was also about the mix of local shops, vintage, and other attractions,” a company spokesman said. “Champion wanted to feel like an authentic part of the community while also ensuring the location was economically viable.”
In addition to selling special products that will only be available in Chicago, national and local design collaborations will also cycle in and out of the store on a frequent basis, according to a news release.
For more updates specific to the new Chicago store, follow @Champion_Chicago on Instagram.