The Ben Sherman brand is the brainchild of Arthur Benjamin Sugarman and was founded in 1963 in Brighton, upon his return to the UK. Sugarman learned his craft in California – where he changed his name to Ben Sherman after applying for citizenship. The brand began with a simple premise, to create high quality shirts for the style conscious youth. The shirts were the perfect blend of transatlantic style, the design was the classic American Ivy League look with a distinct British twist and they were made with high quality imported fabric from the US. The brand gained an almost fanatical following through the emergence of the first youth counter-cultures in ‘60s Britain – most notably the MOD, Ska and punk movements. Carrying on the transatlantic theme, Ben Sherman has been owned by two different US companies before being bought by BMB Clothing Limited, which is based in Leeds.
Ben Sherman mainly designs and sells a range of clothing and eyewear designed for men, with a few items for women. Ben Sherman is one of Britain’s most well known men’s designers and its Royal Air Force roundel logo (also known as the MOD target) is absolutely iconic. Ben Sherman is often considered to be one of the UK’s heritage brands, due to its longevity and the indelible mark it has left on the British fashion scene.
Ben Sherman’s sense of style is epitomised by its short-sleeved, button-down collared shirts made from Oxford cloth. Interestingly, these shirts were typical of many American jazz musicians visiting the UK at the time, however, the look has been so thoroughly embraced by Ben Sherman and the British public that it now feels especially British! This style of shirt really took off in Britain because London had such a huge jazz scene in the 1960s and all of the jazz fans were keen to buy the style of shirts worn by their favourite American jazz musicians. Although this American style of shirt could be imported from American brands, Arthur Sugarman’s decision to offer a wide range of designs gave jazz fans a better value option that was also easier to get hold of!
The Ben Sherman glasses and sunglasses here at Red Hot Sunglasses tap into the brand’s history and its sense of style in the 60s and 70s. There is a beautiful vintage aesthetic running through pretty much all of their eyewear range; this retro style is handled carefully, doled out with nuanced little stylistic decisions, colour combinations, and classic materials. There is enough substance and clever design horsepower behind the Ben Sherman designs to satisfy even the most die-hard eyewear aficionado!
When it comes to Ben Sherman’s colour palette, it’s difficult to describe it succinctly. This is because it uses a wide range of colours to get the job done! There is a strong preference for greys, black, and other more neutral hues and tones. There are a few brighter colours in the mix — exceptions to an otherwise darker colour palette. There are lots of square and rectangle designs in the collection too; these shapes, along with the darker colours, makes Ben Sherman glasses perfect for every-day wear.