If you were ever in doubt that a T-shirt can be a luxury item, it’s high time you were introduced to Mr James Perse. Since founding his label, after a fruitless search for a decent baseball cap, in the early 1990s, he’s turned the humble tee into a sophisticated wardrobe staple and brought the relaxed, West Coast aesthetic to the attention of a global audience.
The secret to Mr Perse’s success is his fuss-free philosophy. “I’m always trying to create the simplest interpretation [of everything I design],” he told Architectural Digest in 2015. “Above all, I want my pieces to be timeless. I hope I never look at something and say, ‘Wow, that was a moment.’” This measured approach ensures his clothes have an enduring quality. You’re unlikely to provoke any awkward “what were you wearing?” comments when flicking through your photos a few years down the line.
This week, there’s another reason to check out Mr Perse’s wares, specifically an exclusive capsule collection designed exclusively for MR PORTER, as part of our Made In California project. A homage to Mr Perse’s love of riding the breakers, the 15-piece line is inspired by surf wear of the 1960s and 1970s, which are often considered golden decades for the sport. Each piece has been crafted in the Golden State. Keeping production on home turf is fundamental to the brand, which aims to support the local garment industry while ensuring exceptional quality and high ethical standards.