Popular clothing brand Fred Perry has announced it will no longer sell a specific polo top in the USA and Canada following its association with a far-right group.
British brand Fred Perry has long been associated with diversity and independence, and is a popular symbol of British youth subculture. However, over recent years their polo tops have taken on another meaning as they began being worn by The Proud Boys.
However, Fred Perry have just released a statement making it clear that they have no affiliation with the extremist group, and they want the association to be diminished completely.
Who are the Proud Boys?
The Proud Boys is a far-right neo-fascist organisation based in the United States, its name deriving from the song ‘Proud of Your Boy’ from Disney’s Aladdin.
They only allow male members, and often follow a white-supremacist view. They are known to be a very violent group, and are associated with right-wing extremism.
The group was formed in 2016 by VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes and launches on the website of Taki’s magazine, a far-right publication.
Proud Boys began wearing Fred Perry polo tops
The group quickly became associated with wearing a particular type of clothing – black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirts.
Fred Perry is a British clothing brand founded by Wimbledon champion Fred Perry. The brand emerged in the 1940s when Perry helped market a new sweatband, but they then added a range of polo shirts, and the brand was born. The brand then quickly became one of the world’s most iconic clothing brands.
However, recently the Proud Boys then began wearing it as their iconic ‘uniform’ and the brand became synonymous with the extremist group. People then became confused, and some thought that Fred Perry were affiliated with or supported the group.
Fred Perry release Proud Boys statement
On September 24th 2020, Fred Perry released an official statement regarding the Proud Boys. They said:
“Fred Perry does not support and is in no way affiliated with 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.”
They say that they have become aware that the black and yellow shirt has taken on a “new meaning” in North America due to its association with the Proud Boys.
Therefore, Fred Perry have now taken the decision to stop selling that specific shirt in the US and Canada completely, and they will not sell there again until they are “satisfied the association with Proud Boys has ended”.