Fred Perry kills its yellow-tipped black polo shirt, denounces fascist appropriators

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Fred Perry’s polo shirts are the best polo shirts, a classic English design to be found in countless variations and colors. But the company, founded by a Socialist MP’s working-class son and a Jewish friend, has seen its most famous cut — the black and double yellow twin-tipped shirt — adopted as a uniform by the Proud Boys, the violent fascist street gang founded by Gavin McInnes. The Proud Boys are back in the news, and Fred Perry has had enough. The company announced today it discontinued production of the black/yellow/yellow some time ago, and issued an unusually unequivocal and forceful denunciation.

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. …

The Fred Perry shirt is a piece of British subcultural uniform, adopted by various groups of people who recognise their own values in what it stands for.  We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity and independence.  The Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt has been an important part of that uniform since its introduction in the late 70s, and has been adopted generation after generation by various subcultures, without prejudice. 

Despite its lineage, we have seen that the Black/Yellow/Yellow twin tipped shirt is taking on a new and very different meaning in North America as a result of its association with the Proud Boys.  That association is something we must do our best to end.  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.

To be absolutely clear, if you see any Proud Boys materials or products featuring our Laurel Wreath or any Black/Yellow/Yellow related items, they have absolutely nothing to do with us, and we are working with our lawyers to pursue any unlawful use of our brand.

A rare show of antifascist spine for a major corporation. I’m going to buy a Fred Perry polo today.

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