Friday, 27 April 2007

The Ben Sherman Shirt

Ben Sherman is one of the UK's leading contemporary street-wear fashion lines. It's line of shirts (and other clothing) has a very clear 1960's English twist! Indeed Ben Sherman's claim to fame is as the definitive shirt for supporters of the classic modernist youth of 1960's Britain...

In 1963, Ben Sherman started making shirts from a small factory in Brighton and the button-down Ben Sherman shirt instantly became a fashion essential for the fashion focused mods who gathered at all-night clubs throughout the 1960s.

Ben Sherman was founded by Arthur Sugarman, a Jew who was born in Brighton in 1925. He immigrated to the United States in 1946 and changed his nationality to American. He also changed his name to Ben Sherman (to hide his Jewish identity), and returned to Brighton where he bought a shirt factory. He was inspired by the smart styling of the Ivy League colleges that he witnessed during his time in the States, and success quickly came as his Ben Sherman shirts sold across Europe and the US. Indeed the Ben Sherman Oxford shirt, with button-down collar and back-pleat soon gained cult status!

Ben Sherman cult began as the shirts were adopted by the youth movements of the day, none more so than the scooter-riding mods. Without "the shirt" one was considered a second rate mod, but with a Ben Sherman shirt, one had instant "cool" appeal. As the 60's continued, the mods became the skinheads and rockers. Less focus was placed on fashion but the basic elements remained...three-button suits, Ben Sherman shirts, Sta-Prest trousers and Levi's jeans.

Leading rock groups such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks all embedded Ben Sherman as a leading name in 1960s fashion, both in the UK and worldwide, yetd even today the company's line are adopted by all the great bands that form today's Brit influenced global music invasion, especially 1990s fashion conscious bands such as Blur and Oasis.

For this new generation of rockers, Ben Sherman still represents the epitome of style and attitude. Indeed Ben Sherman state "classic designs are mixed with the styles and attitude surrounding society pursuits presenting a world of colour and class and a collection of true British heritage".

Ben Sherman has developed into a complete lifestyle brand and dominates the men's branded apparel market as one of the largest brands in the UK. Collections include shirts, jeans, t-shirts, shoes, suits, jackets, and accessories such as wallets, hats, sunglasses, bags, watches, and grooming products.


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