Reigning Champ
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer Photography

Reigning Champ unveils Portland Timbers capsule collection at party in the Pearl District

PORTLAND, Ore.--In this part of the Pearl District, it seems like there is an art gallery on every corner filled with colorful paintings and works of art.

But in one particular gallery on this past Thursday night, something a bit different was on display--and the amount of green Timbers jerseys worn by patrons here served as a dead giveaway.

Photo by Mitchelldyer Photography

A new line of Timbers gear from the high-end Canadian athletic clothing company Reigning Champ made its debut at Augen Gallery as select fans were invited to see the capsule collection up close--and snag photo ops with the 2015 MLS Cup, too.

Photo by Mitchelldyer Photography

With techno pop blaring through the space and beers in hand, Timbers fans mingled, talking about soccer, clothes, and the big, shiny trophy in the room.

Timbers season ticket holders Julie and Charlie Adler have made a point to go to kit launch parties in years past and viewed the Reigning Champ collection launch as a similar opportunity. The MLS Cup was an added surprise, they said.

“We hoped it would be here,” Charlie Adler said. “We'd hope there'd be an event where we could see the Cup closer than the 12 feet away or so at the stadium.”

Added Julie Adler: “It’s exciting to have the Cup here and see it up close; you don't get that opportunity every day.”

Though the MLS Cup was a fan favorite as groups crouched next to it for selfies, the evening was about the clothes. Reigning Champ’s new line will be sold beginning May 1 at Providence Park this season at the adidas Timbers Team Store.

Photo by Mitchelldyer Photography

“I like what they did with the Timbers logos,” said Aaron Rogers, who attended with a group from the soccer lifestyle website Kicks To The Pitch. “I think they did a really good job using the Timbers design.”

It’s a bit of an unusual merchandising partnership. Reigning Champ’s typical line doesn’t include team-branded team items and they won’t be selling pieces for any other MLS teams this season–only the champions. And around the league, new team merch doesn’t always get the gallery exhibition treatment either.

Photo by Mitchelldyer Photography

“By nature of our name Reigning Champ, it only makes sense that we work with the best and we work with champions,” said the company’s marketing director, Doug Barber, in explaining the exclusive nature of the collection. “We feel like our product is pretty special and the same amount of work goes into what we do as winning a championship.”

Joey Resnick came to the event with his father David to see what it was all about. He left with a new pair of sweatpants from the line. It was the understated design that won him over. “It's pretty simple -- and I like the Timbers,” he said.

Fans can pick up their own gear from the capsule collection beginning May 1 at the adidas Timbers Team Store, or online at the Reigning Champ site.