An extraordinary mens blog for the ordinary man
A couple of weeks ago at the start of the Olympics, I ran a rather timely piece on a new fragrance by Ben Sherman aptly named GOLD, now the reaction I received via email and the blog was short of a public execution for the brand. Why was I running a post on such a brand, I thought you had better taste and as one follower put it, “I think the brand has an image problem now. It’s a bit…… well……………. chavvie.”
My response to this was one of surprised shock, if I be completely honest as I see Ben Sherman as a brand with a true and non-contrived heritage. Yes, it has made some mistakes in the late 90’s and the brand committed to some questionable decisions, but the repositioning and rebranding of the BEN SHERMAN name in recent years has given the label a complete re-birth. I did actually question my own thinking, to the point that I made an appointment to view the brand’s Autumn12 range to assure myself that I wasn’t going stylishly mad. Well, sure enough, if anything I had underestimated the resurrection and to be blunt, I was totally bowled over which has lead me to write this post and I have only just stopped banging on about how good the collection is, weeks later.
Under the strapline of, “A Heritage of Modernism”, this is exactly what the brand have done. For Autumn 2012 they have merged undeniably, two of the most iconic and imitated movements in youth culture; Mods and Rockers. Individually, their impact on generations of British youth resonates through music, fashion, politics and beyond. Collectively, they were in conflict; their music, philosophy and styles clashed, spurning one of the most infamous rivalries of the 20th Century, the impact of which lives on today.
The Brand has explored this legacy of collision, both sides keeping their distance and respective identities, but for once challenging their traditional boundaries. With an aesthetic defined by a fondness for tailoring, and identifiable by their sharp silhouettes, Mod is juxtaposed with the leather, the aggression and the grit of the Rocker. The resultant collection is an inspired and considered clash of style.
Additionally, their stores have received what can only be called a massive overhaul, in keeping with the brand’s new mantra, “A Heritage of Modernism” the design of them is classic with a throughly contemporary feel. Moreover, they seem to be moving into a more lifestyle feel with their store in Islington, London soon to have their very own SHARPS barbers homed within their emporium.