Let's start with the most boring fact, Fred Perry, sometime Wimbledon superstar and Mod clothing pioneer, was born on the 18th of May 1909 and died on the 2nd of February 1995! There we go, we've said it; now that we've got this piece of information out of the way, there's another strong statement lined up for you: there's not much to say about Fred Perry the man (in fashion terms), apart from the fact that in the 30s he had a fling with Marlene Dietrich (as we said, not much at all).
Ok, fair enough, if we talk about his sporting career, maybe we could mention the fact that he was a championship-winning English tennis and table tennis player who won 10 Majors including eight Grand Slams and two Pro Slams. Perry won three consecutive Wimbledon Championships from 1934 to 1936 and was World Amateur number one tennis player during those three years. If you know what any of this means, good for you!
I suppose, to cut a long-story short, he was a bad-a*** at tennis and Ping-Pong, but let's put it this way: prior to Andy Murray in 2013, Perry was the last British player to win the men's Wimbledon championship, in 1936 and was the last British player to win a men's singles Grand Slam title until Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open.
But let's put the minor detail of his sport career aside, for we do
write about many things but sport is not one of them (yet). What
did Fred's legacy contribute to our vintage love for clothes?
From Slipping In The Bathroom To Mod Clothing Icon
Well, that's simple, too simple to be true, but yes - Fred, who fell in the bathroom at the age of 86 and died in such an un-glamorous way didn't die in vain. For he left to posterity his iconic and highly recognisable tennis shirt, which is nothing without its laurel wreath logo, based on the original symbol for Wimbledon. Thank you Fred.
Thank you because, now when we see that t-shirt on millions of people we see many things, but luckily some of us, the vintage minority of this cruel world, can have a quick reminder of the 60s, and the romance is back on. For it's his brand that was the first 'leisure wear' worn by trendsetter Mod teenagers - and we love to reminisce about trendsetters teenagers decked out in proper Mod clothing, have you not noticed?
In fact, despite the fact that nowadays it's not so strange to see people wearing sportswear for casual purposes, it was certainly ground-breaking back then. Mod adopted, together with the Fred Perry shirt, trainers, cycling shoes, bowling shoes and more, making, after all, Fred Perry the first brand to successfully blend sportswear with streetwear and starting his legacy that is so deeply rooted in the music scenes of Britain. Mods, skinheads, suedeheads, soul boys, rude boys, two tone.
There was even a short-lived subculture known as the Perry Boys. When Britpop took the world by storm in the mid-1990s it was no surprise to find bands like Blur and Oasis sporting the epitome of street fashion credibility.
Vintage Mod Clothing With That Iconic Fred Perry Wreath
And so, this is why! This is why we write about Fred Perry. Today the Laurel Wreath logo is recognisable worldwide, with shops and customers across 50 countries around the globe, but why bother with that! We can give you the real thing, not the copy of the copy, we can give you the vintage version so why not take a look at our collection of authentic vintage Fred Perry shirts in our collection of Mod clothing today??