Ben Sherman is a brand steeped in history. Much of this has been centred around youth movements. Still to this day, they are best known for their association with the Mod movement of the sixties and retain the subcultures notorious target as one of its logos. However, the lack of subcultures in the last few decades has seen the brand hold onto an ethos that is no longer relatable, whilst maintaining a quintessentially British silhouette that the youth no longer embrace. It’s a difficult position to be in, after all, the brand is still loved by many for its heritage and it stands for something, it’s difficult to move away from that.
However, this week we saw the brand launch its new line: ‘B by Ben Sherman’, where it looks to re-embrace the youth of today. Based around eco-friendly fabrics with a relaxed design ethos, it embraces our modern-day choice of comfort. Not only encompassing the style we want, the brand also understands that the youth of today want a sustainable ethos, making it easy for people to buy into what they are doing.
It also looks as though the brand looked to ‘skaters’ for inspiration, after all, they are the closest thing we have to a subculture now. Not a bad decision; in recent years we’ve seen the rise of Supreme and Stüssy among the youth, who embraced a similar style. You can even pick up a limited-edition skateboard in the collection.
It’s worth noting that Ben Sherman will continue with its infamous style and this latest line simply adds another layer to the brand. The logo is swapped for a larger illustrated ‘B’ and collectively, if anything, it feels a little more American than British. Importantly, they’ve maintained an affordable price line, which ranges from £45-£190, the latter for a quilted coat.
For any brand it’s important to adapt. It’s integral to its survival. Ben Sherman’s longevity is something to be admired, but it’s good to see they aren’t resting on their laurel’s, assuming things will always be okay. With the support of renowned photographer Brian Cannon, who is best known for his work with subcultures and the music scene, they have truly embraced the youth of 2020. Although we certainly aren’t living through a ‘youthquake’, style is still as important to us all, as it’s always been. Let’s see if Ben Sherman lands a home run with this collection.