Art is a form of expression and creativity that comes from within. It’s an innate ability to see the world from a different perspective and portray these visions in a unique way. Beginning at a very early age, ANDRE TRENIER held this special form of creativity within himself and knew that art would become an obsession that would propel him into something great.
Born and raised in the Bronx borough of NYC, Trenier is a graduate of the University of Arts Philadelphia, and in the early 2000s, he began painting murals in his hometown. “My first mural was actually on my block for a friend of mine who was murdered,” explains Andre Trenier. “I was the one in the neighborhood that was already known for art, so everybody assumed that I would be the one to do the mural. I kind of taught myself how to do murals with that piece, and from there it led to two other memorial pieces for friends of friends.” Today, his work can be seen mainly in the Bronx, as well cities across the world. He was commissioned to paint various baseball legends near Yankee Stadium, including Derek Jeter, Satchel Paige and Jorge Posada. A few of his most recent pieces can be found in Guinea, West Africa, honoring Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. When protests began around the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Trenier also painted two murals on Alexander Avenue in the Bronx that were inspired by Norman Rockwell paintings.
In addition to his sought-after mural paintings, Trenier is also known for his interactive street art. He was an avid participant in “Art Battles,” which are worldwide live art competitions that expose emerging artists to the public. His imagination goes far beyond just painting murals and also ventures into the world of design. Trenier is the co-founder of Tangible Thoughts LLC, a collective known for customized sneakers and high-end accessories. “We did mainly custom sneakers, leather jackets, jean jackets and stuff like that for a while. We dealt with quite a few stylists so we would do things specifically for different musicians, actors and athletes,” says Trenier.
His art has led him to many unforeseen opportunities throughout his career. However, one opportunity that seems almost serendipitous is his joining of the eyewear world. As a vintage eyewear collector, Trenier has always been an admirer of unique accessories. “I’m just a fan and lover of eyewear,” he says. “Eyewear is one of the things that I’ve been paying attention to the details. I find in doing portraits and staring at people’s faces a lot that when people have interesting eyewear, it made things a lot more fun to paint.”
Trenier has worked with the Champion brand under Hanes Brands Inc., to create special pieces and paint at events for the brand. His paintings can be seen at various Champion corporate offices, and if you attended Vision Expo in the past few years, you might recognize him from the L’Amy America booth. “I had been working with Champion for quite a few years doing stuff at their different trade shows,” says Trenier. “Then when L’Amy received the license to do Champion eyewear, things just kind of organically fell into place.” Coincidentally, Trenier had thought about designing eyewear in the past, and once he began talking with Connie Reiss, director of lifestyle brands at L’Amy America, an idea for a specialized collection with Champion started to form.
The Andre Trenier Capsule Limited Edition Series was born with the idea of paying homage to Champion’s 100 year history while using Trenier’s artistic capabilities to create bold and one-of-a-kind eyewear styles. Seven styles and 24 SKUs make up the collection, which further enhance Champion’s recently launched lifestyle segment, C Life. Design elements such as stitched leather, cotton embroidered stainless steel surfaces and the Champion script logo can be seen throughout the collection. Trenier wanted each pair of sunglasses to be different from anything else on the market. “I wanted them to stand out, and I feel like especially over the last few years, so many brands have started to do things that look similar across the board,” explains Trenier. “I really wanted it to feel like Champion to me.” He challenged the L’Amy design engineers with some of his ideas, particularly the E-Club style which applies the signature embroidered Champion script logo to the metal sunglass framework. “It really worked out how I imagined it,” says Trenier. “Throughout the whole process, that part of it fascinated me. Having an idea, drawing it out and then seeing it come to life, and actually be what I imagined is a really good feeling.”
Trenier’s love and passion for the Champion brand can be seen throughout every design detail on each individual sunglass. It’s apparent that not only is he familiar with the Champion aesthetic and persona but also with what it takes to channel these characteristics into eyewear. The new capsule collection encompasses all that the beloved brand is known for with a twist of Trenier’s style. It’s a match made in eyewear heaven.