“The temperament of [Vancouver where Reigning Champ is based] is kind of somber, always raining, and when I started designing this, that was the temperament of my life at that period and I wanted to speak to that with this collection,” said designer and creative director Jide Osifeso.
The creative lead and founder of fashion label Hymne partnered with the Canadian brand on a 14-piece collection entitled “Weeping Eye” that is inspired by overcoming ego and generational trauma and “victory.” The collection ranges in price from $115 to $550 and is available at Reigning Champ stores, and global retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Matchesfashion, Browns London, Lane Crawford, Nubian and the Hymne web site.
The collection is comprised of anoraks, cargo pants and sportswear pieces in premium fleece and stretch nylon fabrics. Reigning Champ revived its stretch nylon fabric at Osifeso’s request, as the fabric was one of his favorites. He applied it to a hockey jersey and cargo pants that he said “is probably my favorite one and has been the most popular in the line.”
“Craig [the founder of Reigning Champ] and I had talks of why he called the company that and he said he wanted to be the best of what we did,” Osifeso said. “They achieved that in my opinion and I wanted to relate that back to life and how do you be a champion in life and be victorious. This one is the beginning, the frustrations of where you wanted to be. Taking your lumps trying to achieve greatness.”
The black and gray color palette of the collection also references the weather in Vancouver and Osifeso’s life at that moment.
“I turned 30 and I was thinking ‘Have I spent enough time with my parents, my brother, do people know that I care?’” Osifeso said. “It was a moment where I was taking inventory of life, thinking back to my entire adult life and focusing on work. Life is so much more than your salary. It’s your relationships and what you have at the end.”
Born just outside of Los Angeles, Calif., Osifeso started his career in the skate industry as a graphics and apparel designer. He designed for Adidas Sportswear primarily for the Asia market — “that’s how I got into technical design” — and worked on freelance projects with Nike and Jordan. Currently, he works with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Inc., works with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Jaden Smith, Schoolboy Q and SZA among others, and operates fashion label Hymne, a contemporary men’s wear line he is relaunching for fall 2020 with pieces made with Italian and Japanese fabrics in Los Angeles.
He has a lengthy body of work and enough accolades at just 30 years old that is worthy of any “30 Under 30” list, but he still found that something was still missing after reaching the milestone year.
“My scope is not a scope based in career or work,” he said. “You could be really talented and have accolades, but how do you progress? How do your friends feel about you? With this and my work in general, my personal work, that’s what I want to explore.”
Osifeso first met Reigning Champ “probably six or seven years ago,” he said, and he partnered with the brand on tour merchandise for Lamar. He’s also a fan of the brand. “The good thing about this partnership is that I like what they do. I wear Reigning Champ in general. Our style is not far apart.”
The partners plan to continue to produce collections, at least twice a year or once every other season. The next collection is entitled “Alignment.”
Osifeso also said his collection with Reigning Champ will compliment Hymne, which he will be in Paris to show in January 2020 along with the “Alignment” collection. “It’s similar stories I will tell season to season, and this will be the sportswear component.” He will also launch select Hymne pieces leading up to the full collection launch in August.