Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fashion and Sport : Munsingwear

I know you probably assume I have some sort of fixation with line drawings and logos...and you're correct! This particular post is part nostalgia and an examination of the relationship between sport and fashion. My father used to wear these shirts (see image below) and I always thought the penguin icon was ( in the words of my nephews) "fully sick!" Originally established as a brand to compete with Lacoste in 1955, it specialised in a form of 'preppy chic' which predated Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. It built a presence with a clever association between the privileged world of golfing and the more mainstream bowling community. 

The top image shows Arnold Palmer wearing an 'original Penguin' with his uber hot friend and her hat and scarf combination. On a recent trip to Miami I fell victim to compulsive shopping which required an intervention to get me out of their store. The interesting thing is that the customer base was predominantly urban hipster and numerous 40+ males. It's a tribute to any company which can be instantly identified by it's brand without text or fanfare. It's also significant that it still has positive meaning for me since first sighting one nearly 40 years ago. That's staying power!

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