Style | September 26, 2020 12:45 pm

Fred Perry Issues Statement Condemning Proud Boys

The group's fondness for Fred Perry is not mutual

Fred Perry logo
Fred Perry logo on the court prior to the finals of The Fred Perry Championships 2020.
Julian Finney/Getty Images for Fred Perry

On the unfortunate day when the far-right group known as the Proud Boys emerged on the political scene, plenty of articles about the organization alluded to their choice in clothing. A Washington Post article from 2017 offered more specifics: “the Proud Boys sport a common uniform: black polo shirts trimmed in yellow stripes from the Fred Perry fashion label.”

Fred Perry has — understandably — been less than thrilled about this connection. And with the Proud Boy converging on Portland, Oregon this weekend, the company took its biggest step to date in terms of distancing themselves from the Proud Boys. An article at the Independent notes that Fred Perry has released a statement denouncing the Proud Boys, threatening legal action against them and announcing one change to their own clothing line as a result of the controversy.

The statement — available in full on Fred Perry’s website — distances the clothing company from the Proud Boys. “It is incredibly frustrating that this group has appropriated our Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt and subverted our Laurel Wreath to their own ends,” it notes.

The statement also acknowledges that the shirt in question has taken on an unfortunate new meaning due to the Proud Boys’ use of it. The statement covers this as well: “We therefore made the decision to stop selling the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt in the US from September 2019, and we will not sell it there or in Canada again until we’re satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended.”

The statement ends with a quote from the company’s Chairman, who pointed out that Perry himself was “the son of a working class socialist MP” whose business partner was Jewish. Phrased like that, it makes the co-option of Fred Perry’s clothing by a reactionary organization like the Proud Boys that much more bizarre.

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