A British fashion label will stop selling its polo shirts in North America after they were being associated with a far-right group.
Fred Perry, founded by and named after the triple Wimbledon champion, said it was “incredibly frustrated” Proud Boys had adopted its black and yellow shirt and announced it would stop selling the item in North America and Canada.
In an official statement on its website, the label said: “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 link to the statement was posted on its official Twitter account, along with the message: “Fred Perry does not support and is in no way affiliated with Proud Boys.”
The brand, which was founded in 1952, has been adopted by various British subcultures over the decades.
It was associated with the Skinheads, who originally denounced fascism, and was recently picked up by Proud Boys, a self-proclaimed far-right, neo-fascist organisation that admits only men and which promotes and engages in political violence. The group is based in the US but has a base in Australia, Canada, and the UK.
“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,” the brand said.
“We are proud of its lineage and what the Laurel Wreath has represented for over 65 years: inclusivity, diversity and independence…
“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.”
The clothes designer revealed it had stopped producing shirts in North America since last September and would not be selling into the market again until it was “satisfied” its association with Proud Boys has ended.