Think of the iconic laurel wreath logo and straight away the name Fred Perry will pop into your head, quite possibly one of the most instantly recognisable fashion labels, ever.
Any street-wise, trend-hungry dude about town will file Fred Perry under 'cool', which is remarkable for a label that reached its 50th anniversary this year.
Born in 1909, Fred Perry was one of the world's greatest tennis players of our times. He was a Grand Slam hero, a king of the court, a lithe competitor both on the lawn and in his private life.
His name came to fashion fruition in the late 1940s when he branded up and product placed sweatbands, giving them out to the key players and persuading them to be worn at high profile tournaments, thus launching his marketing notion that has since exploded.
He soon upped the ante with the world famous polo top, placing them on the film crew at matches, as well as wearing one himself for his commentating roles.
The Fred Perry hallmark is the ultimate piece to add to your collection - with garments stretching beyond the label's sportswear roots to mid-way and high-end style.
Despite now being owned by Japanese company Hit Union, Fred Perry will always be a quintessentially British brand, synonymous with our Mod scene, of the past and present. Indeed, a Fred Perry shirt peaking from behind a parka shouts that this is the ultimate heritage brand. It's small wonder that stylish DJmag readers have chosen 'The Laurel' as their favourite fashion label of the year.
Looking ahead, Fred Perry's spring/summer 2010 collection harks back in a playful way to its tennis roots after celebrating its founder's centenary in 2009.
"From the wire mesh fences of the local tennis club to the subdued, graduated colour palette of modern indoor courts," explains a spokeswoman for the label, "soft tailoring is the prevailing theme. Think '40s Savile Row given a Perry chill pill."
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