The America’s Cup: They said we’d never make it

America's Cup

The America’s Cup will reach a thrilling conclusion tomorrow morning (Thursday 26th September AEST). With the race tied at 8-8, it will be a one-race showdown between Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Team America that decides the winner of ‘The Auld Mug.’

This year marks 30 years since Australia II heroically won The America’s Cup in 1983, breaking the USA’s 132-year winning streak – the longest winning streak in the history of sport! But seeing the Kiwis and Team USA (with Australian James Spithill as skipper mind you), valiantly fight it out for The America’s Cup over the past fortnight, the Philippe Perzi Vienna team were tinged with nostalgia for the good old 1980s and in particular, memories of the euphoric celebrations which took place in Perth and indeed around the nation, when Alan Bond and the crew of Australia II brought home The America’s Cup. The Philippe Perzi Vienna team has gotten all excited about sailing all of a sudden!

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Australia II’s much celebrated win and coincidentally, nautical is one of the key trends this summer. Having said that, the nautical look is always classy and on-trend. So whether you’re tacking on deck or sipping Champagne dock side, you should check out our blog on menswear trends this summer.

  • America's Cup
  • America's Cup

Photos courtesy of National Archives of Australia

America’s Cup Victory: Bob Hawke declares an (unofficial) national holiday

Victory was sweet and the champagne and beer (Swan Lager if you were in Perth) never tasted so good. But the win transcended sailing; it signalled to the world that Australia had arrived on the international stage and gave our nation the boost it so desperately needed – economically, socially and culturally.

Australia partied like never before – We had Yachts of Fun! And that’s why we dedicated one of our shirts to this amazing victory. The now famous green and gold boxing kangaroo (the first time the battle flag had been debuted was for the 1983 America’s Cup) was ubiquitous and Men at Work’s “Land from Down Under” played on repeat. Spirits and morale had never been higher following the epic America’s Cup win. Who can forget former Prime Minister Bob Hawke, sitting in the Royal Perth Yacht Squadron clad in his “Australia-Print” sports jacket, drenched in Champagne, declaring “any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up to work today is a bum!”

Bob Hawke America's Cup

Photo courtesy of Courier Mail

America’s Cup Victory: They Said You’d Never Make it…

Such was the impact of the America’s Cup victory, there was even a Swan Brewery advertisement with a song dedicated to the tremendous feat. The lyrics went something like this: “They said you’d never make it, we’ve seen you guys before. No-one’s ever gonna take it, it stays bolted to the floor. They said you’d never make it, but you dreamed of other things; you were sailing for Australia with a boat that sails on wings.

 They said you’d never make it, but you finally came through, for all of you who’ve made it, this one’s made for you…made for you…this one’s made for you…you made it through and this one’s made for you.”

America's Cup 1983 tribute

Above: Hans Perzi – Gentlmen’s Clothier of Perth in the 1980s

Part of the reason the Philippe Perzi Vienna team feels so connected to Perth and remembers the 1980s so fondly, is because this is where the origins of our company – Philippe Perzi Vienna began. Johann Perzi immigrated to Perth in 1967 and his eye for detail, European flair and appreciation of quality was soon recognised and between 1970 – 1979, Hans was the buyer and manager for Lord John, the first boutique in Perth to buy directly from Europe. In 1979, Johann went out on his own and established “Hans Perzi – Gentlemen’s Clothier.”  Having studied tailoring under the tutelage of C.M. Frank (renowned tailor to the Royal Families in Europe) and worked for many internationally recognised fashion houses, he rapidly built up a fine reputation as the premier men’s store in Perth. The photos above and below show the tribute to Australia II winning the America’s Cup in the shop frontage and various other pictures of the shop in the 1980s. In the years that followed, Perth businessmen, actors and entrepreneurs alike flocked to Hans Perzi for all their sartorial clothing needs and arguably, also for Hans’ good banter. Years down the track, Johann ‘Hans’ Perzi and his son, Philippe, established the label ‘Philippe Perzi Vienna’ in London Court on St Georges Terrace – and so continued the tradition of providing Perth with a one stop shop for elegant and fashionable men’s apparel.

Philippe Perzi Vienna in 1980s

Above: Hans Perzi – Gentlmen’s Clothier of Perth in the 1980s and his office

Australia’s bravery, guts, determination and indeed innovation (remember Ben Lexcen’s famous winged keel of Australia II was a secret weapon) are characteristics we admire and are proud of. We are blessed to have a mélange of European heritage and Australian audaciousness in our DNA.

Philippe Perzi Vienna – What makes us different, makes you different. Start shopping online now!