- Dave Kotinsky / Stringer / Getty Images
NEW YORK – In an interview on stage at the Women’s Wear Daily Men’s Wear Summit on Tuesday, Tim Coppens, owner of his eponymous label and creative director of Under Armour Sportswear, described how he brings his aesthetic to the physical spaces he designs.
“I talk a lot about craftsmanship in what we do. The way we build our studio, the way we build our desks, the way we set up our events space,” Coppens said on stage in an interview with WWD Style Director Alex Badia at the Summit. “There’s also a little bit of ghetto in it.”
“Ghetto?” Badia asked.
“Well, I call it ‘ghetto,’ but it’s like a rough edge,” Coppens said. “It’s a roughness, but it’s a very considered roughness.”
“It’s an art installation,” Badia said.
“It’s artisanal,” Coppens said.
As many other writers have pointed out, the term “ghetto” is a racially charged word. The current Merriam-Webster definition of “ghetto” is “a quarter of a city in which Jews were formerly required to live” or “a quarter of a city in which members of a minority group live especially because of social, legal, or economic pressure.” Zoe Triska writes in the Huffington Post, “Whether intended or not, the user is essentially implying that minorities are low class.”
Coppens was tapped in January 2016 to lead the design of Under Armour’s new high-end sportswear and lifestyle apparel division, Under Armour Sportswear. He was tasked with taking the aesthetic from his own line and mixing it with sports-inspired designs.
- Getty/Mike Coppola
The line is based less on high-performance sportswear and more on sports-inspired everyday clothing that can be worn casually. It has been criticized for offering outlandish looks at a high price point – like $199 jersey trousers and a $1,500 camouflage trench coat – though the newer UAS products are more in line in terms of style and price.