Aritzia marks major foray into menswear with $63M Reigning Champ purchase

Jun 14 2021, 8:24 pm

Two major Vancouver fashion companies are coming together.

Aritzia has acquired premium athletic wear brand Reigning Champ for $63 million.

The womenswear retailer, which was founded in 1984, will acquire 75% of Reigning Champ with the remaining 25% equity interest by 2026.

“We’re excited to welcome Reigning Champ. Rooted in classic, timeless athletic wear, their brand has been carefully curated for just short of fifteen years,” said Aritzia founder and CEO Brian Hill said in a release on June 14.

“Building on Aritzia’s strong start to fiscal 2022, this acquisition meaningfully accelerates our product expansion into men’s while bringing incremental growth to our already surging women’s eCommerce and U.S. businesses,” he added.

Aritzia currently operates 101 stores in North America, with 63 based in Canada and 33 in the U.S. The company recently announced their next location at The Grove in Los Angeles.

Reigning Champ has a smaller footprint in the brick-and-mortar world, with two stores in Vancouver and two in Toronto. The company previously operated a location in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles.

The acquisition of Reigning Champ — which is best known for their classic take on athletic wear — also marks a foray into menswear for Aritzia. The company launched womenswear in 2017.

“Capitalizing on our world-class operational expertise and infrastructure, men’s, merchandised independently, will become a meaningful part of Aritzia’s platform through our Reigning Champ acquisition,” Hill also said.

warehouse sale

Reigning Champ’s Robson location. Courtesy: Reigning Champ

Reigning Champ was founded in 2007 by Craig Atkinson, who was also the creator of wings+horns. The brand primarily operates online and is also sold in retailers like Nordstrom and Gravity Pope. In recent years, the company has also done collaborations with Club Monaco, Converse, Everest and more.

“As an innovative design house offering exceptional experiences through its online and retail platforms, Aritzia’s well-established track record as a successful direct-to-consumer business is one that we’ve long admired,” Craig, who is CEO of Reigning Champ, said in the press release. He will continue to operate the business through a partnership with Aritzia.

Notably, Aritzia also retails athletic wear under several of their own private labels, including TNA.

“Leveraging Aritzia’s unparalleled world-class infrastructure and expertise, this partnership provides an exciting path forward to elevate Reigning Champ to the next level as a premium athletic wear brand. We look forward to working with the incredibly talented Aritzia team to capitalize on the limitless opportunities ahead,” he added.