Champion's prices are going up

Champion Raising Their Prices Is An Example Of Fashion Gentrification

The gentrification of low-income brands is highlighted by century-old Champion's comeback.

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In eighth grade, I remember going to Walmart with my mom and buying a pair of shorts for gym class. That was the first time I purchased something from the Champion brand. They were $10, comfortable and affordable. I remembered recently that Target's and Walmart's sports lines used to sell, almost exclusively, Champion items. Basic Champion sweatpants and sweatshirts were sold at Walmart for around $7 each. In recent years, Champion clothing has retailed for at least $35 from stores like Urban Outfitters and PacSun. Along with the price increase, came what seemed to be a complete redesign of the brand. Suddenly the clothes were produced in trendy colors and patterns, becoming novelty items rather than practical, everyday clothing.

Champion is considered a high-end brand, particularly for the target markets of the aforementioned corporations, teens and young adults. How did this happen?

It is important to acknowledge that Champion headlined the athleisure trend in the 90s. Athleisure, as well as the rest of the 90's fashion, has made a massive comeback during this decade. This plays a large role in Champion's resurface in the fashion world. The trend was reset, and their clothes became part of the high-end sportswear aesthetic.

Champion's rebound is not abnormal.

Many brands have had their own resurgences across generations as trends ebb and flow. However, the widespread consumption of Champion brings the brand to the forefront of gentrification. They became an icon of pop culture by associating the line with those that were already acknowledged as high-end. Through collaborations with brands like Supreme, celebrities donned Champion left and right. Thanks to the social media presence that the 90s lacked, the brand's revival spread rapidly. Companies like UO, already notorious for advertising a "poor-looking" aesthetic for a high price, pounced on the opportunity to include Champion in their branding. Champion's prices have since skyrocketed, with most hoodies selling between $70 and $80.

The romanticism of practicality is dangerous. For people who relied on Champion for their everyday clothing, their items are now inaccessible. Making their lifestyle seem elite by upping its purchase value, those living in poverty are significantly disrespected. Dressing a certain way to "look cool" is one thing until it becomes appropriation of a lifestyle the dresser does not truly know the experience of. Wealthy people want to wear Champion because it has again become a wardrobe staple of celebrities; a brand of the richest is one that others aspire to have as well. Before Champion was stylish, poor people were looked down upon for wearing the same items that now are symbolic of higher social and financial status. We, as a highly consuming generation, must take into consideration why we think of something as stylish when it means something entirely different from what it meant to the people who originally wore it.

Champion was not always a fashion choice. Fetishizing the unfortunate economic reality of millions of people takes away from the vital conversation of poverty, and this appropriation cannot be overlooked. Trends are temporary, but the politicization of clothing is imminent.

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Top 5 Best Dress Websites To Shop At

These websites are sure to help you find what you're looking for!
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It's that time of year again! With prom, sorority/fraternity formals, weddings, and graduation parties all coming up there are so many different reasons you'll need to go shopping for a new dress. However, dress shopping can be stressful and with so many different stores/websites available it can the experience extremely overwhelming. Below I have narrowed down the top five best websites to shop at that will be sure to meet all your dress needs:


1. Tobi

Tobi is one of my favorite dress websites! The site offers a wide variety of dress options at very affordable prices. Every time I have ordered a dress from Tobi I have been able to get it for half of the original price listed. Anytime I need to buy a dress, Tobi is the first website I go to.


2. Boohoo

Boohoo is a global fashion retailer offering thousands of styles across both menswear and womenswear. Out of all five of these websites, Boohoo's clothing is the least expensive option. On top of their already low prices, Boohoo is always offering discount codes on their website for up to 50% off.


3. Lulus

Though Lulus is the most expensive of the five websites, in my opinion, their products are of the highest quality. Both of the dresses I have ordered from this site were made with thick material and fit true to size. If you have the money saved up, I highly recommend buying a dress from this website.


4. Missguided

Missguided is a website that I have recently become familiar with and is the best website to shop at if you are in need of a more formal dress. There is even a section for affordable prom dresses! The best part about this website is that they always offer a student discount.


5. Showpo

Disclaimer: I haven't actually ordered anything from this site myself, however, a lot of my friends swear by Showpo. The online boutique offers a unique product variety offering clothing options you can't find elsewhere. Every time I have worn anything from the site, I have always received compliments. The only downside of Showpo is that it takes longer than other websites to ship their products to the United States because the company is based in Australia.

These websites are sure to help you find what you're looking for!

Cover Image Credit: milbprospective

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Gucci’s Commodification Of Cultural Clothing Is A Problem The Fashion Industry Needs To Address

Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them.

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Recently, Gucci faced backlash for selling Sikh turbans as hats for $790. The brand had already come under fire when the turbans were featured in Gucci's Fall 2018 show, especially due to Gucci's use of white models to wear the turbans on the runway. It seems that the previous backlash has not discouraged Gucci from continuing on to sell the turbans for a high price.

Members of the Sikh community were quick to express outrage at the monetization of the turbans, pointing out the religious significance of the Sikh turban. The reduction of the turban to a mere accessory for fashion is offensive enough on its own, but selling them at such a high price only further commodifies an item that is considered sacred to many and would normally not cost nearly as much in the Sikh community.

This incident with Gucci, however, is far from being the only instance where a cultural item has been monetized in the fashion industry. Many have also questioned Zara's new sandals, which bear a close resemblance to waraji, woven straw sandals that were once popular among common people in Japan. The main source of confusion among members of the Japanese community was the price of the sandals, which are being sold at 7,990 yen ($72) while waraji are usually only 200-300 yen (about $2-$3).

Waraji do not appear to have the same spiritual significance as the Sikh turban, but both Gucci's and Zara's attempts to sell these items for much higher prices are all-too-common examples of cultural appropriation. Even if the item does not have sacred or religious value, it is still something that belongs to another culture and should not be monetized in such a manner. Drawing inspiration from other cultures is not harmful on its own if done respectfully, but simply borrowing cultural items and selling them as luxury items at a higher price range is far from being respectful. In these instances, these items are passed off "better" than the original by a brand that does not come from the culture it is borrowing from. Zara should not be given more credit than the people of Japan who used to wear waraji. In the case of Gucci, the turban should not have been touched at all.

The monetization of other cultures is, unfortunately, far too common, especially in the fashion industry. Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them. Hiking up the prices of items belonging to another culture is a glaringly obvious act of cultural appropriation and a trend that needs to stop.

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