by Stephen Garner

Ben Sherman is reintroducing itself this spring. This season, the British heritage brand is out to re-educate the world about its roots with its newest campaign.

Ben Sherman founded his namesake brand almost sixty years ago when he reinvented the shirt as an iconic fashion statement for men in 1963. Sherman decided to revolutionize the shirt design, which had previously been worn only as a functional uniform to determine the type of job you held. People said he was crazy to design men’s shirts in this way; who would want men’s shirts in contemporary patterns, in bright and bold color palettes, and in an array of fabrications?  Nowadays, the question is who could envision the shirt any other way?

Sherman’s shirt designs were modern, colorful, and eye-catching. Within the first decade of creating the brand, he noticed a distinct phenomenon. When worn, a Ben Sherman shirt would repeatedly elicit the same compliment from friends “That’s a nice shirt!” and in response without skipping a beat, the wearer would proudly reply, “It’s a Ben Sherman!”

By the ’70s, Ben Sherman shirts were in high demand, and spurred by the brand’s increasing success, a series of TV commercials were commissioned.  The humorous commercials featured Ben’s relatable, witty sense of British humor, and the decision was made to include the unforgettable catchphrase.

Now, fifty years on from the debut of Ben Sherman’s first TV ads, the brand has launched the “It’s a Ben Sherman!” campaign, which highlights some of its most notable items. “The House Check,” “The Oxford Check,” “The Madras Check,” “The Oxford Shirt,” “The House Gingham,” “Heritage Prints,” and “Ivy Roots” are all featured in the campaign.