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The Original Penguin Polo, A Lasting Legacy of Classic Style
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The Original Penguin Polo, A Lasting Legacy of Classic Style

The prep-inspired brand may have gotten inspiration from the golf course, but the Original Penguin has also taken to the streets.

During the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, Cameron Smith, who claimed the winners Claret Jug, sported the iconic Original Penguin polos as a brand ambassador during the competition. But do you know the story of the famous Penguin?

It began in 1955 with Minneapolis-based Munsingwear, an undergarment manufacturer, which ironically became the touchstone of the sport with the introduction of the first iconic golf shirt to America – an Original Penguin.

Original Penguin brand ambassador Cameron Smith

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Original Penguin brand ambassador Cameron Smith

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The now famous Original Penguin logo has an interesting story behind it. As history tells us, a Munsingwear salesman spotted a flock of penguins in the window of a New York taxidermist – and on what seems like a lark, bought one of the stuffed birds. And before long, “Pete” the Penguin became the golf shirt’s official mascot and logo.

The Munsingwear brand’s original shirt, “the 1955”, was an instant golf classic. It was the first to feature an “action gusset” or a ribbed slice of fabric on the underarm to avoid rips during even the most enthusiastic golf swing.

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An Original Penguin by Munsingwear became a staple among the masters of suburban leisure well into the 1980s – worn by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra. The prep-inspired brand may have gotten its initial inspiration from the golfing industry back in 1955, but as of late, Original Penguin polos have taken to the streets, worn by hipsters and golfers alike.

In 1996, Perry Ellis International purchased the Munsingwear brand. Today Original Penguin represents a ‘cool’ youthful attitude with this retro-inspired fashion that fans love. The Original Penguin is a subtle mix of classic and contemporary, creating a distinctive look as it is timeless. Known for its unique, humorous collection and attention to detail, the brand offers various pieces suitable for golf clubs or nightclubs.

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