A Perry Good Year
Millions have been spent promoting sportswear at the Olympics, but one of the coolest brands made its point by stealth. You didn't see the logo on any medals podium, but still the media have been intrigued. It comes down to the clothing preference of famous cyclist, Bradley Wiggins, and the vintage lines of Fred Perry.
The Fred Perry brand originated with the tennis champ from Stockport and a shirt that was launched in 1952. A decade later and it was the apparel of choice with mods, skinheads and then the northern soul crews. Bradley Wiggins has worked with the company to design a shirt with a zippered funnel neck. However, when he appeared in the audience at the Olympic Velodrome on Friday, he wore the regular version with the button plaquet, accessorised with a burgundy cardigan, also bearing the iconic laurel wreath.
Last week, Paul Weller saluted him as "a fellow stylists" but journalists get it wrong when they say that Bradley has grown his sideburns in tribute to the singer. Rather, it's a homage to The Who's John Entwistle. Bradley actually owns one of the guy's old basses.
All of this makes him the most rock and roll athlete in London. Most sports people have awfully dull tastes in music, and traditionally, their expensive cars have resounded to Simply Red and M People. David Beckham may think that he's cool, but let's not forget that he married a Spice Girl.
Cycling chic has impacted on popular music a few times. Age Of Chance were there in 1986 (check out their 'Kiss' video') while Carter USM indulged on occasions. In the same decade, The Farm, via their fanzine The End, made sports casual acceptable and then Happy Mondays delivered the baggy anthem, 'Loose Fit'. It was hoodies and tracksuits all the way. And of course, Run DMC and a legion of homeboys also worked it with gusto.
Bradley Wiggins and Fred Perry are set to unveil a new autumn range. It should be rather popular. As the Merton Parkas once sang, you need wheels, if you wanna make deals.