Making New Things Old

Senior Cords. 

Back in the day, college and high school seniors would draw on their yellow corduroy pants as a way of showing their school pride and upperclassmen status. The artwork is sometimes incredible…and other times not so much.

Either way, this freestyle expression is something I wanted to embody for a design but there are already several interpretations that have come to market in recent years. I kept brainstorming on how I could build on this idea and make something special for ATH.

A while back, we sourced a mid-weight oatmeal French terry fabric that I had planned on using for something later in the year but then it hit me. 

I imagined this story:

These were your varsity sweats that you held onto well after you graduated. You and your friends had drawn on these and doodled whatever on them. You ran around town, lounged around the house, maybe even worked a summer job and painted a wall or two. Maybe these were once sweatpants that you decided had lived long enough being pants and would be better as shorts. And for all those other reasons you’re not willing to part ways with them. They hold a place in your heart – from a time in your life that maybe you loved or hated – but they’ve been with you and you’ve broken them in to the fullest. Your favorite sweats.

So, to make these as true as we could, I designed the artwork with our first hoodie graphic as the basis of the story. From there, I wanted to repurpose all the artwork we’ve used and some ideas I’ve gathered along the way by tracing and drawing them by hand. This took a good deal of time to get right. 

P.E. sweatpants with ATH logo doodle

P.E. shorts with hand drawn graphics

Model in P.E. sweatpants with All-Time High hand drawn doodle graphics

I wanted to show the imperfect shading, lines and placement. Our printer had his job cut out for him on these, as we had to figure out how to print the front and back to look like plastisol and marker. The paint and stains was another process in itself that had to be done by hand individually – and up until this very moment something we were fine tuning to make it authentic. Finding just the right balance of those elements is crucial to the design. And I think we nailed it. 

The time and energy spent to get these right was worth every minute. These are some of my favorite pieces All-Time High has released so far and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.