Cycling and Fashion Combines Once Again
Fred Perry have launched the latest line of clothing in collaboration with the former Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, ready for the Spring Summer 2015 season. The capsule collection is now one of the most successful on-going collaborations created by the brand, creating another facet of the Lancashire-born star’s fledgling career off the bike too.
The release coincides with an announcement that he will leave Team Sky at the end of his current contract in April and it has been confirmed that the legendary cyclist will move on to a new chapter in his career, creating his own professional team named WIGGINS.
His new team will be sponsored by his current employers Sky but will not feature their name in the official title, and it is expected that Sir Brad will recruit several of the riders bidding to compete in the team pursuit for Great Britain come the 2016 Olympics in Rio, which could be the ideal end to Wiggins’ glittering career if he can add to his tally of 7 medals in total.
This should mean that the team is largely set up to facilitate the track programme which means they will likely compete in what’s known as criterium (short lapped) races as well as the big domestic races in Britain this year such as the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain and RideLondon during their preparation.
Wiggins became Britain’s first ever Tour de France winner in 2012 and he has also won four Olympic gold medals, including a time trial win at London 2012. Despite his glorious success on two wheels it is also his unique charisma which has endeared him to the general public and he has undoubtedly raised the profile of the sport in this country. As his successful commercial tie-up with Fred Perry enters its third year, he is clearly now making strong inroads into the world of fashion too.
The partnership is a natural fit given that it bears the name of two of Britain’s finest sportsmen of all time. Fred Perry is the nation’s most successful ever male tennis player and similar to Wiggins he sought an extension of his career by creating the clothing label.
But it isn’t just the combination of these two sporting heroes which makes this collaboration a hit. Sir Bradley has developed a reputation as a self-confessed Mod who enjoys the 60s style of clothing for which Fred Perry’s retro look is reminiscent of.
The brand’s key selling point has become its affinity with the original Great British subcultures past and present, giving them a timeless and unique appeal. Vintage inspired patterns, colours and designs are always used to put a modern spin on iconic garments, and according to the brand: “every detail has been considered for the story it tells”.
The latest collection between the pair channels that very same Mod infused aesthetic, as well as referencing his roots in cycling, which has itself become a fashionable theme for some clothing brands to use as inspiration.
The new ergonomic jacket is arguably the stand-out piece in the seventh collection between the pair and it is inspired by cycling wear of the 50s and 60s. Based on the ribbed bomber jacket first worn by Fred during his tennis career, they bring the jacket back to its sporting roots by reworking it with streamlined, performance features. Lined with Bradley’s “championship stripe” and also fitted with a mesh lining, this desirable khaki bomber is finished with a water-resistant coating- making it perfect for casual weekend wear or the daily cycle into work. To finish that particular look off, it would be perfect to wear alongside the new mechanical stretch Oxford shirt, which maintains the preppy, crisp look of one of the classic shirts, but is made of thicker material allowing for some stretch too. This shirt comes in the choice of gingham check or pale blue and both have the extra stylistic feature of a concealed placket. See the new items below.
Wiggins’ collaboration also features a retro Harrington jacket– a mod’s favourite- perfect for his off duty look. And finally, a design which blends both his on and off the bike look is the zip neck knitted shirt which now comes in dark navy with a gold laurel wreath, signature of all the brand’s lines and this collaboration too. This piece, constructed with quality merino wool looks like a mix between a retro cycling jersey and the label’s famed polo shirt. The merino wool is particularly apt when you consider the early era of Mods’ style which was symbolized by Italian knits. The funnel neck and zip adds to the sport element of the top, which could be utilised in a number of different looks.
These cycling jersey styles have been popular throughout most seasons since the collection began, and if you’re quick you might be able to snare some of last season’s designs cheaply in the last of the winter sale here.
Whatever Bradley does decide to do when he finishes with his bike in Rio, it seems certain he has a future to look forward to in fashion based on the success of this on-going collaboration.
See the Fred Perry x Bradley Wiggins collection here at Mainline Menswear