History is cyclical, and so is much of fashion. What’s cool will at some point become mundane, misguided or mocked, as tastes change. Iconic brands, on the other hand, are, well, simply iconic – which is what old-school sportswear masters like Fila, Fred Perry, Kappa and Sergio Tacchini are. They’re having a renaissance now, and they all have genuine history to buy into.
1 Filas are loved by A$AP Rocky and the hip-hop community.
2 From mod to modern, Fred Perry always keeps its cool.
3 Sergio Tacchini has moved from the courts to the clubs.
4 Kappa’s Omini logo has been seen on Kendall and the Kardashians.
Old-school Sportswear from Old-school Sports Brands: Part 2 of 3
So, what makes the masters stand out aside from their rich history? They still have a knack for recontextualising and reimagining sportswear’s place in culture at large.
This brand, beloved by mods, never really went away, and it has found new fans through its association with Olympian Bradley Wiggins, whose averageJoe demeanour appeals to men and women fans alike.
In his heyday, Bjorn Borg was rarely seen not wearing it, and the brand is newsy again thanks to its Heritage collection of premium sneakers being worn by online tastemakers, and its cool collabs with MSGM and cult Los Angeles label X-Large.
Once the uniform of football hooligans (yes, it’s a thing), this ubiquitous Italian football terracewear brand was revived in Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Spring 2017 collection. It’s the jersey now favoured by Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
The chic sports brand sponsored Pete Sampras and John McEnroe, and for a short time, Novak Djokovic. In 2016, it launched a 50th anniversary capsule collection, and Rubchinskiy (him again) gave it postmodern street cred as well. – DFL
"Springl Summer 2016 marked the first of a series of cottaboratons betwen vetements and Champion"
Champion: The Comeback Kid
A century-old brand, Champion was the undisputed athletic uniform for jocks, and was embraced by hiphop artists, skaters and the general American public – until the ’90s. Then, baby boomers stopped caring about the ’90s, and millennials were too young to care.
In 2016, Vetements resurrected the brand by remixing the logo, and the knock-on effect was that A Bathing Ape and Supreme also championed it. The latest to do so is Hong Kong’s streetwear label, Izzue, whose “Retro Sports” crossover collection brings vintage activewear back to life with a onetwo punch of Izzue’s signature streetwear elements and Champion’s iconic palette of black, white and grey – which is now also spruced up with flaming red. It’s #Winning again. – DFL
For the Tenenbaums, it’s either Adidas or Lacoste.
Lacoste: The Resurgent
Being the official sponsor of the French Olympic and Paralympic teams doesn’t put you in fashion’s pacesetter league. But being in cool movies does. Professional athletes don’t have the cultural influence that Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums and Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name do: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Margot Tenenbaum wears her Lacoste polo dress like a shield against the dark, changing tides of the future; and Timothee Chalamet’s Elio Perlman either wears little or a succession of Lacoste polo shirts in the indie hit. – DFL
"This literally means “fly forward” in Mandarin."
Feiyue: The Chinese made French
The shoe brand was famous for its simple design and robust, flexible, lightweight canvas. Those qualities made it ubiquitous as the footwear of blue-collar workers and Shaolin monks in 1920s Shanghai. In 2007, French fan Patrice Bastian registered Feiyue in France and, after an update while retaining its charm, the original shoe was relaunched as Fe Lo Classic with France’s Tricolore – officially making it utilitarian et cool. – DFL
MOVIE STILLS EVERETT COLLECTION CATWALK PHOTO SHOWBIT
1 Hoodie, $149.
2 T-shirt, $79.90.
3 T-shirt, $119.
4 Sweatpants, $139.
5 T-shirt, $99.90. All, Izzue.
What Chang says of vintage sportswear: “It’s for you if you want a unique look. And if you’re looking for something that I don’t have, I can help you look for it through my networks.”
Old-school Sportswear from Old-school Sports Brands: Part 3 of 3
WHERE TO BUY REAL VINTAGE SPORTSWEAR
#04-146A Far East Plaza Since 2001, this stalwart store has been filled with vintage jerseys, tracksuits, tees, windbreakers and caps. You can’t see (or find) them, because the store, filled with everything from the past, is at max capacity.
Founder Yap Chang Yen, 41, has been collecting all things vintage for about 25 years. Quality and authenticity are the most important factors for him.
“I am particular about authentication and an item’s condition. Being able to identify and authenticate vintage items comes from investing in guidebooks, doing loads of research, and experience,” says Chang (the name he goes by). Earlier experiences cost him “buying mistakes”, which he calls “paying school fees”.
“I don’t buy sportswear if it’s a replica and is not made in its country of origin. I would not buy an Adidas item if it was made in China; I’d buy one that was made in Germany.” – RT
The Attic opens from Monday to Saturday, 3.30-8.30pm, and on Sunday, from 3.30-7pm.
6 ’90s White Sox baseball jersey, $99.99.
7 ’80s Umbro monogrammed football trainer jacket, $150.
8 ’80s Adidas trainer jacket, $150.
9 ’90s San Francisco 49ers American football jersey, $180.
Loop Garms’ vintage clothing items are oneofa-kind, which means they sell out fast. Price range: T-shirts and caps from $15, and jackets from $35.
#01-148, 635 Veerasamy Road FJ Sai and Isaac Ang, both 26, opened Loop Garms in February this year. Its speciality: buying, selling and trading ’80s and ’90s pop culture tees, sporting jackets, jerseys, windbreakers, bags, plaid pants, overalls, and even fishing vests. Fascinated by the thriving vintage scenes in Japan and South Korea, they started Loop Garms as “a way to pay homage to our passion for vintage clothes, and allow likeminded people to connect with one another”. Products are sourced via friends and other connections. To verify the authenticity of their goods, the duo research and “go beyond the clothes tags to understand the make, model, and origins of a product”. – RT
Loop Garms opens from noon to 7.30pm most days except on Wednesday, and closes for a week every month for restocking. Follow @loopgarms for updates.
PHOTOGRAPHY ZAPHS ZHANG ART DIRECTION PENNY SEOW