It’s been 40 years since two frustrated female runners took a couple of men’s jock straps, turned them upside down and created the first women’s sports bra. They named their invention — the original of which is in the Smithsonian Institute — the Jogbra.
The brand was eventually acquired by Champion, which is celebrating the milestone with a special style and marketing campaign that will kick off July 5.
The 40th anniversary item is a special edition of the Champion Absolute Sport Bra and is being offered in a red-and-white colorway with a special jock tag on the back — similar to that found on jock straps — calling out the year, 1977, when the first sports bra was sold. Champion re-branded the Jogbra in 1994 after the acquisition, although the term has now become part of the vernacular.
Karen Black, design director of Champion, said the brand took one of its “most understandable bras and infused it with a little more comfort and fashion. And in a nod to the heritage, we added a jock tag from 1977.” Like the original, the anniversary product features mesh panels for breathability and elastic straps that cross in the back, but updated with modern materials and styling.
Jennie Ortt, global women’s creative design director, said the model is “easy on, easy off, for the everyday athlete.” It will retail for $30 and be available at both Champion’s e-commerce site as well as at Kohl’s.
Champion will promote the product and the anniversary on its social media channels.
Ortt said while there are no plans to create other products around the Jogbra, the brand is gearing up for next year’s anniversary of Champion’s reverse-weave sweatshirt. “So we’ll be having a conversation around that,” she said.