Lula speaks

Russell, the inventor of the sweatshirt


117 years, that’s the amount of time Russell has been crafting garments.

Sports is who they are.  Their sportswear brings the soul of the field to today’s fields of play. Where competition, recreation and culture collide, you will find Russell.


The company was founded in 1902, Alexander city, Alabama by Benjamin Russell. At first it only produced underwear for women and children. They could make up to 150 garments a day back then. Later on Russell started producing more items also for men.

It was the son of the founder, Benny, who came to his dad in 1926 with the idea to produce an all-cotton practice football jersey that we now call sweatshirt. Replacing the itchy wool uniforms worn at that time. 


During World War II, Russell’s Athletic primarily supplied the U.S. military, providing troops with shirts, underwear, T-shirts and special outer garments made for the Army and Navy.


By the 1960s, Russell Manufacturing Company’s athletic division had become the largest manufacturer of sports apparel and uniforms in the United States. In 1962, it began to use the American Eagle to represent its iconic brand image.

A fun fact about the sweatshirt inventor is they also  created the famous Spalding basketball that we all recognize from being the official ball for NBA play for many years. 74876E_FRONT

Inspired by the classics, Russell launched its Heritage Collection to bring back the good old days of tees and sweatshirts with classic prints.

Each garment’s foundation reflects a piece from original collections upon which Russell Athletic was founded. The Heritage collection is made of the same rich colors, heavy stitching and premium cotton that you can find in a classic thrift-store find. Carefully choosing this line to include urban-functional styles allow you to make a statement walking the streets, pursue your creative hustle or break a sweat in the gym. Layer up or dress down in Russell’s retro graphic tees, hoodies, shorts and joggers. Each piece of vintage sportswear included in this line has a story to tell.


Vintage Inspired with a contemporary twist

Long Live Russell Athletic!  

From us, to you … the Lula 101 Service, Styles & Smiles crew