Through It All: Isaac Puerile on Champion’s Enduring Legacy With Independent Artists

In the pulsating heart of the Australian rap scene, Sydney’s Isaac Puerile has emerged as a self-taught artist and producer, a maverick crafting his own path with defiant originality. Upon its launch, his 2018 EP I Hate You Too became an instant classic. This genre-defying body of work incorporates elements of rap, pop and UK garage, converging into an unapologetic and raw soundtrack of life. For nearly a century, Champion has mirrored such trailblazing with its Reverse Weave Hoodie—the OG hoodie—which has been an emblem of innovation since its inception in 1938. This makes the brand’s partnership with the 26-year-old a seamless fusion of new-school audacity and enduring tenacity.

Initially crafted as a warm-up garment for athletes, the Reverse Weave Hoodie quickly found favour among construction workers in chilly climates and later became a staple among early adopters of hip-hop culture in the 1970s and ’80s, cherished for its affordability and functionality. In the ’90s, the iconic hoodie became synonymous with hip-hop culture, worn and immortalised by influential groups such as Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, and Naughty by Nature. In the contemporary era, its cultural impact deepened through collaborations with giants like Nike, Supreme, Bape and the late Virgil Abloh. These collaborations not only bridged the gap between streetwear and high fashion but also propelled the hoodie into new realms of cultural significance. This journey reached a pinnacle in 2018 when the Museum of Modern Art selected the Champion hoodie for their permanent collection, an acknowledgment of its enduring role as a cultural artefact across sports, music, fashion and art.

Champion’s influence spans the globe, and they have a long history of supporting creators in Australia and New Zealand. In 2023, they spotlighted 66 Records—the first African-owned music label in Australia—in their Autumn/Winter Puffers campaign. More recently, they enlisted Melbourne music collective Picked Last in their “Escape to Room 42” campaign—which serves as a teaser for the collective’s newly-released track “Room 42.”

In the “Through It All” campaign, Isaac stands at the forefront—narrating and starring in the campaign’s short film. The phrase “Through it All” does double duty, encapsulating Champion’s enduring commitment to local talent—like Isaac, 66 Records, and Picked Last—and the ever-present cultural significance of the iconic Champion hoodie.

Speaking of the role of the Champion brand and hoodie in his own life, Isaac said, “…I’ve been a fan of Champion since I was a kid, and their hoodie has always been a staple in my wardrobe, providing comfort and a vehicle for self-expression. Being part of the Through It All campaign feels like a full circle moment, celebrating Champion’s innovation journey alongside my own.”

For a deeper insight into the Champion x Isaac Puerile partnership, and to get to know more about Isaac, Complex Australia spoke with him about his love for music, streetwear, and Champion’s influence on his life and art.

Where did your love for music come from? When did you start taking it seriously?

I grew up in a very musical family. My dad played the drums in the church, and my mum sang. All my siblings played instruments; I played violin when I was about 5 years old. I wasn’t good in school, but I was always listening to music. One day in high school, I was rapping with a bunch of my friends, and one of them told me I could be better than Kerser, and that stuck with me.

Fast forward a couple of years and I had saved up for a mic and some other equipment, but I wasn’t doing any work at school and then I got kicked out of home. So, I had no place to live, no job, and all I had was this music thing. I did a bunch of odd jobs that I was bad at, but I was getting better at music, and that’s how it became more serious. I didn’t have a choice.