Champion teamed with Anwar Carrots on a collegiate-inspired collection launched at its La Brea Avenue store in in a move that unites the old and new guards.
The nearly 100-year-old sportswear firm tapped the young entrepreneur, founder of his growing lifestyle brand Carrots by Anwar Carrots, on a limited-edition offering called Carrots University by Champion. The collection, retailing from $40 for mesh shorts to $100 for a jacket, will later be made available for sale on Champion’s web store beginning June 19.
“I use their blanks a lot [with Carrots by Anwar Carrots]. I pretty much marked their stuff up — all the way up,” Carrots said. “They just caught wind of that and were pretty much like ‘We want in,’ which was smart because I’ve done that with multiple brands where I end up getting cease and desists. But they saw I was doing pretty positive things within the community and I’ve been in the streetwear culture itself since I was 15 years old.”
It’s a mash-up that makes sense, Carrots pointed out, particularly given the timing and need for newness in the market.
“We’re in a space of new kids, new adults,” he said. “I’m a new adult now. The same kid 10 years prior that was 18 is now 28. There’s a new 18-year-old and they just want new s–t. These stores, how many opening receptions and this and that are we going to do? We need new experiences. We need new people, just new faces and new energy to push brands forward into the next generation or the next milestone. [Champion’s] going into their 100th year. Are they going to keep doing the same collaborations with people? No. They’re going to pass on that knowledge of 100 years to the kid that’s only been around for three years or one year but who is actually making waves as large as their brand.…It’s helping me get to where they are and, at the same time, I’m helping them become authentic in a sense.”
Carrots said his broader idea for the Carrots University line would be to strike licensing deals with different U.S. universities to produce colorways unique to each school.
“That’s my dream with this whole collection. This is pretty much the start,” he said. “I’m all over the place.”
That’s not necessarily a bad thing as he looks to build out his business, which delves beyond the “streetwear” label and into full-on lifestyle. His studio and headquarters space is located in Mid-City and now approaching the multimillion-dollar mark. The company launched babies in May and is set to relaunch that collection on a new Hypebeast kids shop online for back to school. There’s also been a raft of recent tie-ups for Carrots including the company’s collaboration with Guess for the Los Angeles denim firm’s Farmers Market concept pop-up marketplace concept, in addition to one with K-Swiss.
On the horizon is a collaboration with Sanrio, which also happens to be on Champion blanks. Carrots is also set to work with China-based brand AKOP, which stands for All Kinds of Possibilities, and there’s also a deal with what Carrots teased as being with a water company.
“I like being really involved in the places I actually work with and getting involved with the culture and the people, music, food and not just doing a collaboration just to do a collaboration,” said Carrots, who was on site for the Champion University release to meet with fans and will go to China for AKOP. “That’s how I am. I’m very open. I don’t have to do something with the coolest brand. There’s plenty of brands out here in this world with different types of product.”
Carrots sees the various deals as stepping stones to get to where he wants to be as an entrepreneur, saying “I’m one to speak things into existence or speak out what I want for my life.”