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The laurel wreath reimagined for a new age

Fred Perry celebrates its 60th anniversary with polo shirts refashioned by the design elite

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The laurel wreath reimagined for a new age

January 26 2013
Charlotte Abrahams

Fred Perry is 60 years old, and to mark the occasion the brand with the laurel wreath has teamed up with über-hip London retail destination Dover Street Market to create a highly limited collection of somewhat unusual birthday shirts.

The main focus of the celebrations will be an auction later this year of shirts that have been customised by 60 of the brand’s most loyal and famous fans – an A-list that ranges from champion cyclist Bradley Wiggins and British band The Specials to fashion’s hottest upcycler Christopher Raeburn. Each celebrity was sent a reproduction of the original 1952 Fred Perry shirt and asked to make it their own. Some, such as Wiggins, wrote simple birthday messages; others took the icon and ran with it. Creative company Asylum, for example, covered its with yellow pompoms, presumably in a light-hearted reference to Perry’s chosen sport, while Raeburn turned his into a stuffed hare.

The auction, held in support of the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a charity established in the name of the late singer to help care for struggling young people, promises to be a significant and worthy fashion event. But it’s a long way off, so Dover Street Market has created “Fred Perry Specials” as a tempting foretaste of things to come.

Echoing the birthday customisation project, Dover Street Market asked four of Britain’s rising fashion stars (Giles, Simone Rocha, Christopher Raeburn and JW Anderson) to each adapt 10 classic navy and white M3 polos (Raeburn’s owl in first picture; Giles’s design left in second picture; Rocha’s creation right in second picture). All these will be on sale (alongside an exhibition of 25 of the birthday shirts) at Dover Street Market from Saturday January 26, priced between £140 and £165. These are investment-grade polo shirts – wear and wash at your own risk.