There’s something about a shirt buttoned up to the top without a tie as companion. A certain formality coupled with a bit of a non-conformist feel. In high school, we went through a random phase where we used to flip our collars inside out and then button up to the top – looked a bit like a clerical collar. In the last two years or so, it seems to have come to the fore again and, I must confess, when I’m not wearing a tie – which I decided to start doing regularly when I turned 40 – I generally feel most comfortable buttoned up. And I’m not British.
In those teenage years in Maseru, we weren’t particularly aware of clothing brands like Ben Sherman, which celebrated 50 years in 2013. Since they came into South Africa a couple of years ago, I have been a fan of their chinos, building a nice little collection.
For their Spring/Summer 2014 collection campaign, the concept goes back to their roots as a shirt-maker. It is centred around buttoning up your shirt. In the press release, CEO Mark Maidment says, “Buttoning up the top button of your shirt is something that’s been done to Ben Sherman shirts since 1963. It is a deliberate style choice that exudes ‘Britishness’ and personal pride. It’s also an integral part of British style culture. Ben Sherman visually acknowledges this style decision with its brand new campaign – The Original Button Up Since 1963”
The campaign was shot by photographer Jon Gorrigan and features model Louis Simonon, who is the son of the musician and artist, Paul Simonon, who was the bass guitarist in English punk rock band, The Clash. They’ve also shot a video (as well as a Making Of video) their pushing across their digital platforms which is quite dope.
For those who visit this space regularly, you’ll know I’m fascinated by how brands are pushing their stories and, with my business Project Fable, I’m also ‘practising what I preach’ and working with brands, companies, etc on doing the same, regardless of platform or format. From coffee table books, sites, videos, campaigns, brand print publications, the possibilities are endless.