Raf Simons and Fred Perry Celebrate Northern Soul

Presenting reworked polos, imaginary record label and band patches, and a future-grail of a parka jacket.

Fashion 
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Youth culture, underground scenes, teenage angst, the romanticization of the North of England, working-class undertones, and the melting pot that brings these qualities together are cornerstones of Raf Simons‘ design identity, having infiltrated his collections since 1995 and now becoming the anchor for the Belgian fashion legend’s latest collaboration with Fred Perry. Likewise, Fred Perry is an archival brand with its roots in working-class culture, which Hypebeast has examined in much detail. Now the two brands have come together for their latest collaborative installment in honor and celebration of the North of England, a place Simons is incredibly familiar with — particularly in regards to culture — as he has frequently referenced Peter Saville, New Order, and Joy Division.

For the collaboration, Simons dived into Northern Soul music and invented imaginary record labels, artists, and song titles, each of which gets a special mention throughout the collection. From the signature polo shirt to T-shirts, rollneck tops complete with Simons’ metal laurel wreath motif on the neck and his eponymous signature on the arm, as well as brushed cotton twill denim jackets and matching trousers, a Harrington jacket, unlined blazer, Parka jacket, socks and more, you’ll find the collaborative effort that celebrates the North throughout.

The Parka, for example, steals the show this upcoming season. Epaulets, a drawcord waist and a fishtail hem with flap pockets to boot are all classic components of this outerwear silhouette but now appear alongside a large print on the rear that’s evocative of the Soul scene and is complemented with embroidered patches.

Elsewhere, standouts include the blazer that comes with three buttons down the front, buttoned cuffs with a rose motif on the left arm and a graphic on the chest, complementing a pair of trousers with similar cues. Dual-branded laurel wreaths make a heavy appearance on the polos, while an almost logomanic array of badges can be found on the rear of a hooded sweater.

Raf Simons’ latest collection for Fred Perry is set to drop online and in select Fred Perry stores on August 11. You can sign up online to be notified about the collection’s launch, but for now, take a closer look at the collaboration above.

In case you missed it, check out the third FW22 drop from NIGO’s KENZO.

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