Fashion world’s most popular seabird marks 60th year with golden logo
While the older generation still associates “Pete the Penguin” with the classic Munsingwear golf shirts, certainly times have changed. For today, younger trendsetters recognize the iconic logo as the Original Penguin label.
This is what local distributor Anthem Group celebrated as the casual lifestyle brand marks its 60th anniversary globally this year. As part of the milestone, the Original Penguin introduced an anniversary capsule collection that is soon to be available in the Philippines. Truly special, it features for the first time ever a golden Pete the Penguin embroidery.
But who really is Pete the Pengiun?
As the story goes, the brand’s founder Abbot Pederson, an “ambitious” salesman at the Mun-singwear factory in Minneapolis, went to New York City in 1955. And that was when he first met the penguin.
Recalling this trip, the website www.orignalpengiun.com wrote, “Stumbling out to find a taxi stand, he took a wrong turn down a Manhattan street and found himself in front of a display of stuffed penguins in a taxidermist’s window. Before he knew it, he had bought one of the penguins, named him Pete, and was soon enjoying cocktails with him on the flight back to Minneapolis.”
But at some point during the flight, Pete’s head fell off. Coming to Pete’s aide was a beautiful stewardess who tied him Pederson’s necktie. With that, she commented that a “dapper” bird must be immortalized even through embroidery.
Thus on his return to Minneapolis, Pederson who was also a keen golfer created the Mun-singwear golf shirt.
“From the moment it hit the shelves it was a must-have, popular with suburbanites and sports legends alike,” the website stated adding that it was “worn and talked about” by celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and Richard Nixon, among others.
In 1996, the brand was bought by Perry Ellis International and since then, it has transformed into a complete lifestyle brand that offers not only polo shirts but also suits, watches, bags, belts, hats and shoes for men. It also now has separate collections for both women and children.
The 60th anniversary collection is thus a nod to the brand’s heritage with over-dyed and washed pieces to emulate a vintage feel.
More specifically, there is the classic “Earl Polo” in rich plum, blue and charcoal and the “Daddy-O Polo” in midnight blue, which both give off a hand-me-down vibe—an inherited piece been passed down from generation to generation.
But of course, the main highlight of the collection is the gold “Pete the Penguin” logo in honor of his birthday. He is proudly embroidered on classic polo shirts and updated with trendy lining and collar for both men and women. The signature logo is also enlarged and printed all over to adorn various t-shirts, woven tops and hoodies in styles dubbed as “The Re-Pete.”
Long sleeved woven tops, meanwhile showcase subtle patterns. Midnight blue and black plaid stripes alongside muted specked patterns round out the washed-out and worn-in feel. Finally, a black Ratner jacket with gold trim detailing completes the celebratory collection for the brand.
In the Philippines, Original Penguin has been providing the fashion scene with quality heritage clothing since Anthem Group began its distribution six year ago. Today, there are 20 stores Original Penguin stores across Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.
Asked what the company sees Filipinos to love the most from the brand, Cheryl Lao-Lee, managing director of Anthem Group, revealed that it is none other than wearing Pete the Penguin on their shirts.
“Filipinos are very brand conscious that is why they prefer the polos where Pete the Pengiun is very visible,” Lao-Lee affirmed.
The 60th anniversary capsule collection will be available at all Original Penguin retail stores beginning October 15.