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Fred Perry's Ping Pong Collection

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Fred Perry unveils a new collaboration with Nigel Cabourn  

It’s lucky Nigel Cabourn is good at tennis. Table tennis, to be exact. When you team up with a brand whose founder was the first world champion in 1921, it could be intimidating. Instead, the English fashion designer’s five-times-a-week habit has only served (sorry) as motivation for his new spring/summer collaboration. 

“I am a big table-tennis player. I’ve played since the Fifties,” he tells ShortList. “So I’ve brought back a bit of history that maybe Fred Perry has forgotten about.”

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Styles, fabrics and designs were also inspired by Viktor Barna, the British-Hungarian five-time table-tennis world champion, as well as Cabourn’s vintage stash: “I have 4,000 pieces which I’ve been collecting since 1978,” he says. “It’s mainly sports pieces from the Fifties, especially US sportswear. I own some Fred Perry bits from 50 years ago.”

Cabourn even travelled with Fred Perry to play table tennis against opponents based all over the world, including a 360 person-strong match in Tokyo.

With loose shorts, polo shirts and Halley Stevensons’ wax holdalls, this is retro sportswear done properly. So what’s Cabourn’s favourite piece? “When I was a kid, you wore a sweat top and matching bottoms. So one thing I did [for Fred Perry] was an old soccer suit. I keep wearing the pants on Instagram and people love them. I must have made them famous now.” Better get in there quick….

Prices start at £85; fredperry.com

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