Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tonight is the first game of the 2011-12 NFL season, a match up between the past two Super Bowl winners: the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. While the Packers have a huge fan base of cheeseheads and oversized Farve jerseys (that is, if the jersey hadn't been burned out of spite when the Great One retired, then un-retired for the Jets in 2008), the Saints equally have the unwavering support of a majestic city, New Orleans. Those crawfish sucking, trumpet blaring, fleur-de-lis Bayou folk love when the Saints come marching in, and had even more pride when their boys won the championship two years ago, restoring faith in the same French quarter that Hurricane Katrina had once flooded only a few years prior. I'm sure the Packers had a chip on their shoulder, and brought back the Lombardi trophy to its original home last season, so we'll see how the grudge plays out tonight.
If you are a Saints or LSU fan, you undoubtedly have the Perlis Crawfish Polo in gameday colors. Or maybe a Perlis rugby in Madi Gras stripes when the event comes around once a year in its drunken glory. A hometown staple, Perlis is a great example of a local trad favorite, famous among the deep southern preps in Louisiana and surrounding gulf states.
Don't mistake the Red Crawfish logo as something a Red Lobster employee would wear, although understandable since pretty much no one outside of 'Narlines has ever really heard of it. But the hole-in-the-wall establishment has endured over 70 years on the corner of Webster and Magazine street, and the crawfish logo is as ubiquitous to the traditional menswear store as brightly colored bead necklaces are to the city. And much like other obscure brands, the fratters at LSU and other regional schools have inherited the Crawfish and made it their own, TFM.
Perlis has been in the family of the same namesake for three generations, with founder Roger Perlis opening doors with a mission to provide premium men's suiting and custom tailoring, along with their exclusive in-house branded clothing. Below is current owner David G. Perlis and his son David W. Perlis, who has brought a new direction to the store and remodeled it in 2000.
I only have one article of Perlis clothing, as featured in the title photograph and below. I picked up this red polo shirt at a local thrift store, and if I had not recognized the logo (then daydreamed how this NOLA transplant got to my neck of the woods) then I probably would've passed it over. Unfortunately it is probably an earlier 1980s model and is a little too slim for me to wear regularly; usually the polo has a full cut with longer sleeves. So it mostly serves as a trad souvenir hidden in my closet. I may pick up a few more Perlis items down the road...currently have my eyes on their version of a shotgun belt. But I am not from the great state of Louisiana nor have I ever visited their gem city of New Orleans, so I feel it is a slight disgrace to the Crawfish because I have no Cajun accent to back it up. Still, worth visiting if ever in the area.