Eunice Jera Lee sits down with one of the most iconic pop artists of the 1960s to discuss his latest collection for Fred Perry. Sir Peter Blake’s collaboration with the British brand was celebrated at the launch last Thursday.
Tell me a little bit about your collaboration with Fred Perry.
It came about because apparently they tend to do a series of special designs, limited editions. And somebody knew somebody at Fred Perry, who also knew somebody at The CCA. I was on their list of collaborators and that’s how [the collection] came about.
Does the brand Fred Perry have any personal meaning to you?
It used to, in my self-portrait, that was meant to be a Fred Perry shirt, but it’s a rip off, it doesn’t have the motif on it. But I used to wear shirts like that so Fred Perry is a brand that I have interest in.
Both you and Fred Perry have close affinities to British pop music, is there any influence in this collaboration?
I don’t think so. I think the motifs are used over the years but I don’t think any of them are directly linked. I think its about a level of society, a level of interest of what art was like thirty years ago, forty years ago, fifty years ago.
How many pieces are in the collection?
Three shirts and the link was to make them red, white and blue so the set was kind of patriotic. Good patriotic, not bad patriotic. So that was the link and they have similar motifs.
What’s the significance of the badges?
When I was young, people didn’t wear badges- they might wear one badge saying they were in the golf club. That was a kind of aesthetic breakthrough to be wearing badges now. That’s the main link to now- I have a large collection of badges, I’ve always been interested in them.
So how long have you been collecting badges?
Since then points to his self portrait. So ’61…50 years. In the art piece, those were the only ones I had so in the beginning of the collection. So in those years, we talked about the fact that it’s like talking, its giving you information so we can sit here and you can read my badges and get to know my likes through my badges.
Is there any other brand or designer you’d like to collaborate with?
Well, I’ve probably done it. I collaborated with Levi’s in Japan, limited edition. I’ve worked with Stella McCartney, who’s my goddaughter in fact, I’ve done designs for her. And just interestingly, there’s a recycling company I’m doing things with- we’ve done a kind of a baseball boot. So in a way, I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to, but who I’d actually like to work with now is Tom Ford, maybe?
Do you think fashion and art are important to each other?
I’ve always been interested in fashion, being married to [painter] Chrissy [Wilson] and my daughter’s 24. I’ll always be aware of fashion, we go to Stella’s shows in Paris, and Betsy Jackson is a friend so fashion will always be important to me.
Interview by Eunice Jera Lee