The iconic British brand Fred Perry have teamed up with the iconic British band, Gorillaz. Barring an awful rhyme, that sentence is enough to satiate any fans desires - Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, the two brains behind Gorillaz, do not work with just anyone, so we have a good idea the outcome is going to be high quality. Often collaborations do not truly delve into the ‘lore’ or ethos of what makes the music so special, and I’d argue that Gorillaz are so successful because of this; the alternate reality Albarn and Hewlett have created with cartoon band members, and digital stories, throughout the bands’ lifespan, keep things interesting and intriguing.
The clothing itself is quintessential Fred Perry - classic polos, Harrington jackets with elasticated trim, and a variety of other ‘britpop’ styles often plastered over 90s throwback Instagram accounts, or your mate who sings Parklife in the shower every morning. The recurring design pattern of a crane is a reinterpretation of classic Fred Perry silhouettes, and a motif Gorillaz fans will surely be attached to. Subtle detailing throughout the collection nods to the world created by Albarn and Hewlett.
The outerwear is crafted in Wolverhampton and features patterns and phrases used by Gorillaz members in the band’s discography - the tracksuit features the patches “OWL” and “Choose Pazazu”, as well as the phrase “Reject False Icons” (a phrase synonymous with the band) printed on the back. The bomber jacket has clearly been championed by band frontman 2D - the rear of the jacket features a print of ‘2D - Player One’ in a classic video game font found on old arcade games.
With fashion’s pivot to more digitally-focused projects in a post-pandemic world, collaborations like this seem to be the future. Purchased via an opt-in digital installation where fans can interact with both the pieces and the band, this release creates an immersion not seen since we were all physically allowed into brand launches in the heady days of 2019. The pieces really feel like more than just a collaboration for positive press, and strike me as something the band members would be seen wearing in their future music videos. Fred Perry have worked well to create distinct pieces that feel worn-in, and unique to each band member. Ultimately, this collection is made for the fans and it has been executed to perfection - fans of the band will lap this up, no doubt, upon its arrival later this month, on May 20th. Make sure to sign up for the event whilst you still can.