Celebrating 70 years of the Fred Perry polo shirt, the Design Museum is showcasing Britain’s most enduring sportswear brand in a free exhibition opening 10 June 2022.
Above: the Original M3 Fred Perry Shirt, 1952
This summer, in collaboration with Fred Perry, the Design Museum presents Fred Perry: A British Icon – an exhibition celebrating the stories of the eponymous brand, the global communities who wear it, and the tennis champion who inspired it all. The exhibition invites punters to follow the story of the brand’s sporting founder and its importance to subcultures through a new installation of original objects, design process and specially commissioned films.
Visitors will explore the company’s beginnings in 1950s Britain and through rare archival material and early prototypes will get to know its founder, three-times Wimbledon champion Fred Perry. Explore the intricacies of Perry’s identity and learn how his legacy continues to influence the brand’s character.
The exhibition continues with a deep dive into Fred Perry’s quintessential garment: the polo shirt. See early prototypes, the evolution of the laurel wreath logo, typography and rare pieces from years of collaborations with designers and musicians. From mods to skinheads, and spanning artists, musicians, film-makers and sports stars, the following section reflects the global communities that adopted the Fred Perry polo shirt as their uniform.
Exploring politics and community as realised through fashion, gain insight into the brand’s international significance, and the values that have been embedded in the style over time. Among the brand’s devotees are stars of British music, such as Amy Winehouse, Gorillaz and Sam Fender.
The exhibition showcases Fred Perry’s unique relationship with live music. Inspired by the brand’s programming of Global music events, which platforms artists at the cutting edge of underground music, visitors will find themselves immersed in the music that has been the soundtrack of the brand’s 70-year history.
- Fred Perry: A British Icon is on at Design Museum 10-19 June 2022.