February 3, 2023

Angelo Baque is more than a designer. He’s a teacher (so much so that his Instagram bio even says “Life Coach”) who wants to inspire the next generation of creatives. Baque has long been a proponent of community empowerment and the importance of sharing knowledge, first through his “Social Studies” event series and now through a new partnership with Champion called “Senior Thesis.” The title of the partnership is taken from the project students who were present at the pinnacle of an academic program, depicting the research they conducted on a particular topic and the conclusions they reached on that topic. It also refers to a secondary theme of “ascension,” in which a student shows that he is ready to move to the next level. Here’s the subject of Champion’s classic reverse weave crew neck sweatshirt and the “students” ready for their rise are three artists: Puerto Rico native, Queens-based “neo-surrealist” Larissa de Jesus Negron, Los Angeles-based designer and illustrator Uber Lopez and airbrush pioneer Shirt King Phade. Even a teacher has to be a student, so Baque cooked a set of crewnecks himself.

Jesus Negron features a smiling, abstract landscape painting with bright blue embellishments on her crew neck, while Lopez’s design features a levitating individual wearing a crown, calligraphic “LA” logo, and a set of rosary beads. Shirt King Phade’s design is as bright and bold as you’d expect, featuring Egyptian pyramids and symbols with a distinctly astral bent. Last but certainly not least, Baque’s crewneck opts for a text-based design and a large chenille “C” patch on the back.

The collection was launched via a vibrant pop-up at colbo, a forward-thinking clothing, coffee, design and homeware store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, featuring a live performance from jazz outfit Phase 2. It’s available now through the Champion store. webshop and also via A Ma Manière, UNION, SSENSE, Xhibition, UNKNWN and August.

For more from Baque’s amazing world, check out who joined him on this year’s Hypebeast 100 – a list of the most influential creatives in the world today.

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