John Flynn, Managing Director Fred Perry
18 Feb. 2013
Q&A: John Flynn of Fred Perry on the FP60 project
As part of Fred Perry’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, which kicked off in August last year and runs until August 2013, the brand has teamed up with Dover Street Market in London to launch a limited collection of shirts designed by a handful of London’s most creative talent. In addition, sixty international names from various industries have been invited to customize a shirt each to be auctioned in 2013. We caught up with Fred Perry’s MD John Flynn to shed light on the two-part project.
How did the idea of the celebratory FP60 project come about?
The task we originally set ourselves was to simply produce a perfect replica of the original Fred Perry shirt designed in 1952. But after a conversation with the team at Dover Street Market, who suggested certain designers might be interested to get involved, we started to develop a collaboration-based plan instead. Before long, we had brought aboard ten suitable designers. Many more came forward – and not only from the fashion field. We then realised we could reach sixty, which matches the actual number of the anniversary.
How did you go about selecting the participating collaborators?
For the wider international project – which saw creative types from different industries customizing a shirt each – we set out to select individuals who reflected our music heritage somehow, or at least had an appreciation of it. It was also important that they would be able to design something very special with what is a rather simple item, the polo shirt.
So far, 25 shirts have been revealed. How would you describe the first instalment?
As we expected, the result of the project is very diverse, since those involved come from different industries including music, retail, advertising and the art world. The interpretations vary a lot; it’s not a parade of fashion, but a creative melange by the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Damon Albarn, Raf Simons, Neville Brody, Walter van Beirendonck, Inez & Vinoodh, BEAMS, Eko Nugroho, Jamie Reid, Exactitudes, The Specials and Peter Jensen. The remaining shirts will be launched at I.T Beijing Market in March and Dover Street Ginza in April. Later in the year, the pieces will be auctioned with all proceeds going to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
In addition to the charity collection, Dover Street Market invited a crop of British designers to design ten Fred Perry shirts each – what characterise this initiative?
Dover Street Market approached some of the UK’s most creative talent : Giles, Simone Rocha, Christopher Raeburn and JW Anderson. The designers all came up with some very beautiful and curious interpretations. Simone Rocha’s version, for instance, centers on transparency but still has a definite form, while Christopher Raeburn surprised us all by turning his shirts into a stuffed animal.
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