Born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, in 1909, Frederick ‘Fred to his buds’ Perry, was the leading tennis player of his time, winning 10 Majors, three consecutive Wimbledon championships and hitting the career grand slam at the age of 26. Like we said, legend.
Paving the way for the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo – via a sports/fashion collab, not by swanning around in pants – Fred was approached by Austrian footballer Tibby Wegner in the late 40s to team-up on the first sweatband. This evolved to the first sports shirt – now recognisable everywhere as the classic Fred Perry pique polo – which was launched at Wimbledon in 1952.
Adopted by mods in the 50s and 60s, and skinheads in the 80s, Fred’s humble polo took on a whole new rock’n’roll relevance. This was underlined in the early to mid noughties with Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty of The Libertines and a whole gang of indie rockers seen out and about in FP’s threads.
And now? A strong fashion contender – see hook-ups with the likes of leading Belgian designer Raf Simons – team Perry know their way around a classic. The polo still has the two-stripe collar detail and laurel wreath crest (which was the original Wimbledon logo, fact fans) but today polka-dot shirts, blown-up logos and a cool, staple Harrington jacket combine lip service to FP’s origins with a keen eye on the now.
Team any of the above with some slimline navy denim and cherry red DMs and you’re good to go. Braces and a shaved bonce are optional.