Original Penguin Clothing Collection by Munsingwear
Founded in 1955, American brand Original Penguin is known for a unique, detail orientated approach to clothing. Famed for introducing the first iconic golf shirt to America – known as the 'Original Penguin' - the brand takes its quirky penguin logo from its founder's own stuffed Penguin, named Pete. Re-launched in 2003, the brand has found success with a variety of ranges including men's, women's and children's.
For Spring / Summer '15, the brand draws displays a decidedly nautical influence. A seasonal colour palette of deep indigos, bright whites and brick reds combine with colour pops of caramel and bright blue, to create a collection with as much depth and variance as the seascape which is its inspiration.
A comprehensive collection of classic polos and crew neck t-shirts form the basis of this spring's collection, with pieces such as the Penguin Rain Heather, Teal & Blue Striped Crew Neck T-Shirt offering understated style, alongside the Penguin Dress Blues Micro Penguin Print Slim Fit Pique Polo Shirt, with its quirky repeated branding.
BEHIND THE BRAND
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The Penguin story began, somewhat unconventionally, in a 100-year-old underwear factory in Minnesota, with the opening of George D Munsing's textile factory in 1886. Harbouring a keen interest in the development of new fabrics, Munsing initially manufactured underwear, and was the first to ever combine cotton and wool in an undergarment. By 1890, 'Munsingwear' was the largest underwear company in the world, largely thanks to their revolutionary thinking and innovative approach to the technology of fabrics.
It wasn't until 1955 that the Penguin brand was born, when Munsingwear decided to produce a line of Golf shirts - the jersey knitting machines in their factory were as perfect for producing breathable sportswear fabric as they were for producing underwear materials.
But what to name the brand? The story goes that Abbot Pederson - a Munsingwear salesman - stumbled across a taxidermist's window full of stuffed Penguins on a trip to New York, and unable to help himself, bought one and named him Pete. On the flight back to Minneapolis, the penguin's head got knocked off, and with the help of the stewardess, Pederson reattached it by wrapping his tie round the Penguin's neck. Upon returning to work with his penguin, the legendary logo was born.
The Musingwear golf shirt branded with the tie-wearing penguin went into production: casual, comfortable and stylish, it was a must have from the moment it hit the shelves. The first shirt to feature an 'action gusset', the ribbed slice of fabric inserted under the arms was designed to avoid rips during even the most enthusiastic golf swing. Popular with both suburbanites and sports legends alike, the 'the 55' became representative of a relaxed and sophisticated lifestyle. The brand thrived well into the mid 80's and became synonymous with the era's most talked about celebrities, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Clint Eastwood: the shirt was a true American classic.
The classic Penguin shirt catapulted back into fashion in the early 'noughties', with young trendsetters scouring vintage stores demanding they restock the cult mid-century classics. This new audience led to the rebirth of Original Penguin by Munsingwear in 2003: their archive was reworked to reflect contemporary lifestyle without compromising the heritage or craftsmanship that had made Penguin's name.
Today, Original Penguin is present in the US, Canada, Europe, and South America, with over 12500 points of sale, more than 61 stores worldwide, and two dedicated e-commerce sites. The brand offers a full lifestyle wardrobe, providing men's, women's and children's clothing, accessories and fragrance.The shirts are just as iconic now as when the first one was produced in 1955, and the brand continues to exude a blend of confidence and sophistication.