The interesting thing about Mr Perry is that he started in the fashion apparel industry in an unusual manner. Fred used to use gauze to wrap around his wrist in order to help with the perspiration from his wrist from getting onto the tennis racquet handle. In he late 1940’s, Mr. Perry was approached by a former Austrian footballer by the name of Tibby Wegner with an idea for marketing a sweatband to wear around the wrist with Fred’s name on it. According to Fred Perry’s autobiography, the first of these wrist bands or sweatbands were made out of a bath towel type of material and weighed a ton.With some later improvements in materials, the redesigned sweatbands launched a business that we now know of as Fred Perry Sportswear.
With some good marketing and persuading the top tennis players of those days to wear the sweatbands on the court, the idea took off. Soon, Fred branched out into making the now famous polo shirts with the laurel leaf logo that we all know so well. He gave those polo shirts to all the top tennis players at that time such as Hoad and Rosewell as well as giving them out to the BBC Wimbledon crews. This clever marketing scheme was wildly successful as the audiences and fans of Wimbledon and tennis took an immediate liking to the famous Fred Perry Polos. These were much different than the usual baggy ill fitting shirts that fans were accustomed to seeing on the tennis players. The Fred Perry shirts used a unique honeycomb stitch which allowed the fabric to breath better, even if it was tighter than the usual fare of tennis shirts at that time. These polo shirts were good looking!
The distinctive classic design of these polo shirts with the two stripe collar design and laurel wreath logo was launched at Wimbledon in 1952 and was a big and immediate hit with everyone. It is still considered a classic and a must have today by many. Not only just perfect as athletic wear for playing tennis, but these polo shirts have been and are today the shirt of choice for many different subcultures throughout the world,including artists, musicians and film people.
The signature fit of the Fred Perry polo shirts is a staple item in the closets of not only world class tennis stars today such as Andy Murray, but in the closets of everyday people who recognize not only what is a classic timeless design, but what is one of the coolest looking lines of polo shirts anywhere. Fashions come and go every year or so but true style is timeless.