Whether she was at home being papped on the streets of Camden, performing her music on world stages, or styling herself for timeless photoshoots, Winehouse was synonymous with the Perry logo, sporting her polo shirts and tennis dresses. She was the first ever female to produce her own line with the brand, breaking down the doors for stylist Teddy Boy-inspired women everywhere who too were rebels refusing to adhere to gender stereotype, seeking a little more affordable edge and city cool than the rest of the high street offered.
Celebrating 10 Years
of Fred Perry x Amy
Words by Eve Barlow
Amy Winehouse fit Fred Perry like rhythm fit the blues. That the collaboration between Winehouse with the timeless fashion house continues to soar in popularity almost a decade since her death renders her as unforgettable an icon of British style as Fred Perry itself.
Winehouse was as much a landmark of Camden Town as Stables Market, Koko or the former Barfly. She moved there in the early 2000s after growing up in Southgate and the influence of such a charismatic, edgy, authentic pocket of North London would affect her, as much as she would go on to leave her mark on it. In the between years after her debut record 'Frank', released in 2003, and while she was writing her definitive album 'Back To Black' (2007), Camden was both her spiritual rock 'n' roll playground and her own song writing safe space. Camden was her muse and it was also her trouble. Musically, Camden lent Winehouse the freedom to embrace even more vintage styles in R&B and Motown, beyond her upbringing as a jazz singer.
With regards to her personal fashion, Camden reinvented her. While Winehouse shared a flat with her friend, Catriona who worked on the Stables market, and spent her days and nights at watering holes like the Hawley Arms, she began to embody the spirit of all that surrounded her: tattoos of pin-ups laced her arms, her hair grew taller and more '50s/'60s glamorous, and her wardrobe revolved around rompers, babydoll dresses, polo shirts, skinny jeans, heels and tennis shoes. A line with Fred Perry was another feather in her beehive, but it was also a defiantly feminist statement, whether deemed so at the time or not. She was a trailblazer on the music scene, and naturally a pioneer for the brand, giving other women the freedom to embody the London street style of Mods and indie bands.
Something even dearer to Winehouse's heart too was her Jewish identity. A proud daughter of two Jewish parents, she regularly performed onstage with her Judaism visibly showing in a Star of David around her neck. She may not have been overtly political, and she barely ever talked about her ethnicity publicly, but she wasn't shy to call out that which upset or irked her. She was unapologetically proud, and unmistakable in her own look, voice and character.
Her figure may still stalk radio stations, street murals and bedroom walls, but the way she carried herself can't be imitated. Her obsession with retro didn't keep her in the past, but propelled her inspirations into the future alongside her. That's what secures her as a legendary influence to artists and fans now and forever.
Fred Perry Camden, London.
We are starting I AM AMY not simply to pay tribute to one of the greatest artists of our time, but to celebrate the idea of self-expression that she so valued and embodied. With this hashtag, we are encouraging fans to showcase how they have been inspired by Amy both stylistically and creatively through videos, selfies and artwork, all under #IAmAmy