Taking inspiration from the meeting point of reggae and punk in Britain’s sonic history, Fred Perry and menswear designer Nicholas Daley have not only realised a full collection but have also launched a special music grant offering much-needed support for music’s next generation in today’s harsh climate.
Exploring the meeting point of music and fashion alongside that influential subcultural period when reggae and punk merged (think of Joe Strummer recounting his experience of reggae all-nighters in White Man in Hammersmith Palais), the collaboration sees Daley reimagine silhouettes from the Fred Perry archive in tune with his own design codes.
Taking inspiration from influential musicians of that era, including John Lydon, The Slits and Lee Scratch Perry, Daley has utilised fabrics heavily associated with subcultures from the late 70s, early 80s and today – with tartan, checks and plaids leading the way. Here, the Fred Perry shirt is rendered with towelling overarm inserts, tracksuits are elevated with pique textured tricot and thick V-neck knits made in 100 percent wool and cast in retro brown and orange.
As for the Fred Perry x Nicholas Daley music grant, this initiative comes at a significant time, when the British music industry is struggling with the consequences of Covid-19 and an arts landscape lacking funds. Open now for submissions from unsigned, UK-based, applications will be judged by a panel of industry experts including Don Letts, and musicians Obongjayar (also the face of the Fred Perry x Nicholas Daley collection) and Nabihah Iqbal. The winner will receive a two-day recording masterclass at London’s historic Metropolis Studio and expert support.
“The Fred Perry x Nicholas Daley music grant continues the company ethos of doing their bit for the creative community,” explains legendary DJ and judge Don Letts. “Now there’s a lot of ways you could go when it comes to helping unsigned artists in these trying times. But I can certify as someone that’s been lucky enough to record at Metropolis that this is indeed a rare opportunity. Hell, you’ll be joining the ranks the Rolling Stones, Prince, Happy Mondays, Jay Z, The Verve, Stone Roses, Amy Winehouse and even Big Audio Dynamite!”
While Obongjayar speaks of the need for initiatives like this one as encouragement to young artists: “Access to resources wasn’t always the easiest for me coming up as a musician so I can really appreciate what Nicholas and Fred Perry are doing here for budding talent trying to find their footing. I guess, in our own little way, this is an expression of our support for the creatives and a leg up to what they eventually do in the future. Things like these go a very long way when done and used correctly and I am really excited to be a part of it and looking forward to seeing it’s end result.”
Details for the Fred Perry x Nicholas music grant can be found here.