Russell Athletic’s campaign shoot at Abbotsford Convent is very streetwear but also very Ivy League

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Varsity chic.

Established all the way back in 1902 in Alabama, Russell Athletic really found its footing in 1930 with the invention of the original ribbed neck sweatshirt.

A quarterback named Benjamin Russell Junior – whose father owned the company – suggested that the brand develop an alternative to the uncomfortable wool jerseys worn by athletes at the time.

The pro-cotton used in those first sweatshirts, revolutionary for being both soft and weighty, is still used exclusively by Russell Athletic today.

For the new European range, you’ll find references to this history through the heavy use of the brand’s R logo across T-shirts, outerwear, and of course those iconic crewneck sweatshirts. The collection also takes cues from American collegiate style, with sports-inspired branding on the chest of multiple pieces.

And to celebrate the release, Russell Athletic took a trip to Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent for a history-centric photoshoot.

Designworks’ Lian Huddle says of the location choice, “We wanted something that was almost a nod to the brownstone American colleges because decades ago, Russell Athletic was dressing US sports teams. And we had a great group of guys and girls to really celebrate that idea of your crew or team within a friendship group.” 

Check out the gallery above for a sneak peek of the European collection, which is set for release at the end of August.   


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