Ben Sherman was a legend in his own right. A man described as ‘always embracing the new and the different’; someone constantly searching for the best of things. He disliked regularity, preferring to search out things that were perceived as unavailable to him. He was a passionate businessman with an artist’s soul.
The shirts were a huge success, offering something brand new and previously unseen in England.
Interestingly it was exactly at this time that the first British youth culture was in full flow; the post war teddy boys. This movement had shown a new generation of youth that clothing could be a key indicator of their beliefs and signal their belonging to a culture or movement.
Its basic design was influenced by the classic American Ivy League shirt but Ben’s design vision added the back hook, the button on the back of the collar, but most importantly his feel and passion for fabric, pattern and colour created a unique garment.
Colour was something that particularly intrigued Ben, so he used Oxford fabric in pale shades, pale pink, yellow and blue. He used candy stripes, again, using pale pinks, greens and blues. Peoples’ initial reaction to all this colour was not positive, but typically Ben Sherman pushed ahead as he totally believed in his ideas.
A second wave of young men came along who loved the sharp Italian style and this group went by the name of ‘ the modernists’ who quickly became known as ‘mods’. This British youth culture embraced the Ben Sherman shirt, loving it for its quality, slim-fitting style, its colour and unique design.