Arthur Benjamin Sugarman started making shirts for other people. But soon his creative flair took over and he started designing his own shirts. In 1963 he launched the first Ben Sherman shirt. Influenced by the classic American Ivy League shirt, Ben’s design vision added the back hook, the button on the back of the collar, and was a better vehicle with which to express his feel and passion for fabric; pattern and colour. ‘The modernists’ – a post-war generation of British youth whom loved the sharp style – embraced the Ben Sherman shirt, loving it for its quality, slim-fitting style, colour and unique design.
Decades later, the brand has grown to mean more than just clothing: Check out the organisation’s Plectrum Sessions and read up on their Trust for Fighting Teenage Caner. Really then, the brand is about participation in (if not outrightly governing) a lifestyle, a movement and a culture. More on that in a minute…
#TBT back to 2010 and the clothing and lifestyle brand teamed up with a food & beverage company in Japan to create a unique experience known as the Ben Sherman Royal Milk Tea. The uniquely styled canned drinks were accessed from a vending machine conveniently placed outside a ‘select’ lifestyle department store known as Nano Universe. This collaborative effort worked well to plug the clothing brand into the international Japanese consumer market, while making sure it retained its bespoke brand reputation.
Fiat 500 by Diesel
Its altogether interesting to note the extent to which brands will go to attract us to products and services and ‘the airs’ they put on. In an effort to bring consumers closer to their products, Italian car manufacturer Fiat S.p.A. teams up with highly sought after clothing brand Diesel S.p.A. to create the Fiat 500 by Diesel. With slogans like: “For Successful Living” & “Only for The Brave”, the clothing moniker has its target squarely on the young, empowered & socially conscious. The car brand’s “Simply More” tagline designated for the 500 also shows ambition at being more than n old man’s brand or, just the run-of-the-mill people carrier. Diesel’s keen concern for style has helped Fiat bring some vibrance back to its offering, with a limited choice of metallic colour pallets, exclusive interior appointments and signature design elements. Look out for many other such collaborations between prolific brands over the coming few years.