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Fred Perry's Going to Stop Selling Its Unintentional Proud Boy Uniform in the U.S.

Illustration for article titled Fred Perrys Going to Stop Selling Its Unintentional Proud Boy Uniform in the U.S.
Photo: Maranie R. Staab/AFP (Getty Images)

In an effort to distance itself from the Proud Boys, clothing brand Fred Perry will no longer sell its black-and-yellow polo shirts in the United States.

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The company, which has decried the violent, white nationalist hate group’s embrace of its black-and-yellow polo as their de facto uniform for years now, published a press statement to its website on Thursday, announcing that it will stop selling the garment in the U.S. “until we’re satisfied that its association with the Proud Boys has ended.”

The statement continues:

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.

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Created by VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the Proud Boys organized a pro-Trump rally in Portland on Saturday, NBC News reports. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Friday in anticipation of the estimated thousands of white supremacists coming “from out of town,” but apparently only about 200 demonstrators, some of them armed, decided to show.

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

Oddly enough, Fred Perry polos have long been a skinhead uniform in the UK, but the company hasn’t gone to the lengths of discontinuing product in that situation.