An historic symbol of sporting excellence, the Laurel Wreath was the perfect emblem to represent a man who rose from humble beginnings to conquer Wimbledon three times.
The Fred Perry laurel wreath has developed into one of the best known and most instantly recognisable logos in the fashion world. The origins of the laurel were, perhaps not surprisingly, derived from Fred's sporting pedigree as a three-times winner of Wimbledon and a Davis Cup champion.
Although, this very nearly wasn't the case. Amusingly, the first logo that Fred considered was actually a pipe. Being a pipe smoker, he felt that this was one of the things he was most synonymous with and initially pondered on it as a potential emblem for his fledgling sporting goods company. Fortunately, his Austrian business partner, Tibby Wegner, managed to dissuade him, as 'he didn't think that the girls would go for it'.
This still left them with the conundrum of what to use as their logo. After discarding hundreds of ideas, Wegner had a brainwave: 'What about the laurel wreath you wear on your touring blazer and Davis Cup sweater? What's the story behind that?' Since winning Wimbledon in 1934, Fred had always sported the famous wreath and worn it with great pride. After all, as a historical symbol, honouring excellence from classical times, combined with Fred's heroic feats at Wimbledon, it was the perfect emblem.
There remained only one stumbling block. The All England Tennis Club. Fred's relations with the hierarchy of British tennis had at best been difficult, and at worst downright strained. he had never quite been accepted 'one of them', and relations had further deteriorated when he turned professional in 1936. However, Fred was not a man to let thing stand in his way and he approached Colonel Duncan MacCauley, then Secretary of the All England Club, to see if Wimbledon would object. Perhaps surprisingly, they decided that there would be no problem and gave Fred a release in writing. The wreath was his and the rest, as they say, is history.