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Seven decades of timeless cool – Fred Perry

When wading through snow, resting on your laurels can be as dangerous as actually resting. No one understands this notion more than Fred Perry, whose design ethos is centred around longevity, resilience and endurance.

Since 1952, Fred Perry’s eponymous brand has become synonymous with British culture. Its designs have infiltrated high-end fashion sectors like few other marques have before. Their functional lightweight pique polo shirt for instance, originally designed to be worn in court, is now an iconic garment adopted by countless subcultures and worn by millions. The shirt works across generations and transcends cultural, societal and hierarchical boundaries – a phenomenon that is only further nurtured by the fact that Fred Perry himself is fabled to have been a self-made working-class man.

Through curated collaborations with both designers and musicians, the heritage brand has successfully branched out over the last two decades. Inviting boundary-pushing designers like Rei Kawakubo and Raf Simons to put their idiosyncratic spin on the classic Fred Perry shirt, the brand has produced brilliant capsule collections with silhouettes and patches recollecting the iconic styles of Amy Winehouse, the Gorillaz, and Gwen Stefani.

Fred Perry X Adish

Over the years, Fred Perry has been able to organically redefine itself without ever running danger of diluting its DNA or dishonouring its legacy: the core of which is centred around affordable couture. The brand, as Fred Perry declared himself in 2020 in a bid to distance from undesirable political connotations, stands for inclusivity and independence.

In 2022, heeding Jack O’Fire’s caution for the soulless cool, Fred Perry’s collections were designed with the 1970’s and 80’s British Southern Soul scene in mind – a largely overlooked subculture where fashion, music and inclusivity harmoniously collided. A veritable standout of the brand’s more recent releases, is the collaboration with Israeli-Palestinian owned brand Adish, which endeavours to shed light on the country’s unique and skilled embroidery work.

Reimagining Fred Perry’s iconic contemporary silhouettes with traditional craft techniques, designers Amit Luzon and Eyal Eliyahu, Palestinian-American artist Jordan Nassar, and Palestinian Ramallah-based Qussay K, infused the brand’s signature Twin Tipped Polo Shirt with traditional Tatreez motifs, paying homage to rites of passage, historical events, nature and female strength.

The collaboration is an example par excellence for how a conglomerate can serve as a stimulus for change. Even in contemporary times, the brand still pushes its historical boundaries and affirms its illustrious street fashion credibility.


photo courtesy of Fred Perry

T - 23 January 2023


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