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Under the Spotlight

Relaunching for AW19, Ben Sherman’s The Series unveils the very best in
established and up-and-coming talent

words by Elliot RAMSEY

Off the back of the initiative’s successful spring launch, Ben Sherman’s latest edition of The Series showcases three creative individuals, highlighting their inspiring stories and exploring the impact that the brand’s heritage has had on their own style. From diverse backgrounds and with vastly different careers, we caught up with each of them to talk humble beginnings, Ben Sherman and iconic British menswear. EJ

Shot by Mark Gregson

Movement coach (@rogerframpton)

Tell us about your path to becoming a movement coach – where did
your journey into the world of fitness begin?

When I was scouted to model, all I’d done previously was gym and weights work. But this didn’t work for the catwalks because sizes back then in the modelling industry were stricter. This got me into experimenting with a bodyweight style of training, which eventually led to a career as a movement coach. It’s all about studying the evolution of movement.

Your TED talk was a huge moment in your career – what can you tell us about it?
My TED talk was a challenge from the founder of London Real, Brian Rose. He loved the message I was spreading and so I did it. I hoped it would open people’s eyes to the fact that we’re all born flexible and mobile, and are great movers as kids. With consistency, patience and focus on how our bodies move, we can get our natural movement back.

What tips would you give to young people wanting to get into fitness?In all honesty? Don’t get into fitness. Movement is where you should be looking. Movement is something that each and every one of us is born with. You’ve just got to find, within you, that innate urge to move your body freely again. In other words, it’s not about what you look like, but what you can do.

How did you get into modelling? 
I was scouted in a bar in London by the photographer Simon Harris from Select Models. I then decided to quit my career in carpentry to pursue modelling full-time.

How would you characterise your style?  
My style is all about having the freedom to move. I always wear footwear that allows me to feel the ground and clothing that doesn’t restrict me. Can my body move freely? Can I sit in a squat? Can I reach my arms over my head? If I can’t, I don’t wear it. In terms of colours, dark on the bottom means light on top, and vice versa. I’m not sure where I learnt that, but it’s a simple rule for not allowing yourself to camouflage into the background.

What does Ben Sherman mean to you? 
I was aware of Ben Sherman even before my modelling career and the first item I had was the classic checked shirt. Ben Sherman makes me think of British lads. In fact, I modelled one of their jackets several years back. It’s inspiring to now work with a brand that has such a rich history.

Shot by Mark Gregson

Boxer (@luke11campbell)

Tell us about your journey into the world of boxing
Why boxing? I don’t really know the answer to that one. It’s just something I’ve always done. I started out playing rugby, but ended up stopping because I found I had much more of a love for boxing. I think what spurred me on was my will to get better and better, and to win. Two years after starting, I was fighting for England and then took gold in my first tournament for England. I’ve gone on to win gold in tournaments all over the world, including the Olympics, and now I’m currently the most successful British amateur boxer in history!

Who is your greatest influence?
The one person I looked up to growing up was my mum. Seeing her struggle to give us dinner money for school, but then going out to be the breadwinner for the family while my dad wasn’t well. Everyone relied on my mum and her wage, but we still never wanted for anything.

Tell us about your Olympic experience – what was it like to stand
on top of the podium holding a gold medal?

It was a crazy experience, but I had always said that I was going there to win gold. A lot of athletes are there to take it in and enjoy the moment, but for me, I had a job to do. I cared about winning a gold medal. It was
a moment I’d dreamt of for most of my life. I find it hard to explain how
I felt in the moment, standing there. I think it was probably the first time in my life that I’ve cried from happiness – it was very emotional.

In 2014, you established the Luke Campbell Foundation – what are your aims for this initiative?
I established the foundation after I competed in the Olympics, after I’d seen how young kids had reacted to me. I was an inspiration to them, so I wanted to use that platform I’d gained to give something back to them. To instill confidence and encouragement in the younger generation. I wanted to go on to achieve something in life.

When you aren’t dressed for the gym, what is your personal
style like?

As you can imagine, I’m in training gear for six days of the week. It’s only the odd day here and there that I get to wear something else. But I’m not a big fan of big brand logos. I like something small, understated – plain white or black, usually. I like looking fresh and cool.

What does Ben Sherman mean to you?
When I was younger, I won an award in my hometown for my sporting achievements. It was my first award event, and I remember going out with my mum to buy a new Ben Sherman shirt to wear to it. I’ll never forget that. In my younger days, you had on a nice pair of jeans, a Ben Sherman shirt, and you were looking the part! For most of my childhood,
I was probably wearing Ben Sherman shirts to my school discos. I looked pretty cool.

Shot by Mark Gregson

Model & Photographer (@chris_reid)

How did you get into photography?
I initially got into photography while working in the camera section of a retail store. I developed a genuine curiosity about cameras and a burning desire to take photos which led me to purchase a Canon 650D with a 50mm 1.8 lens. When I got signed as a model in 2015, it pretty much took over my life, so photography took a back seat. But as I’ve developed more of a routine with modelling, I’ve started shooting again.

A major milestone for me was my first professional shoot as a photographer. It was an online editorial for Hunger magazine and the shoot was just me and the model. The vision was all hers and it was great because I’m passionate about giving models more of a voice on the creative aspect of the shoot. I was super grateful for the chance to be on the other side of the lens and, at the same time, to allow a model to express their creativity.

How relevant is film photography today and what does it give us that digital can’t match?
I love film photography because I think it captures energy in a way that digital can’t. I really enjoy not having the images instantly displayed. It keeps me and the subject totally present, and I like the sense of mystery about how an image will turn out. The shots become more valuable, as does the time you spend shooting a reel.

What cameras are you using at the moment?
I’m currently using a Canon AE-1 that I bought for £50 off Gumtree a couple of years ago, as well as a Canon EOS 650 I got on eBay for £11 and a Canon Zoom XL I found in a charity shop. I think that was £15. I get my film processed at Snappy Snaps and I scan my images myself.

How did you get into modelling?
I started modelling in 2013 in my hometown of Wolverhampton. I was just modelling for friends’ brands but there wasn’t much of a fashion buzz in the Midlands at the time and very few modelling agencies. So I started networking online, and going to London occasionally, and I ended up talking to Paul Cavalier, the director of Nevs Model Agency. After a few months of speaking, they signed me. They advised me to move to London as it would allow me a better flow of work, so I moved down in 2016. I also recently signed to J’adore Models
in Manchester.

How would you describe your style and what are some key pieces that you can’t live without?
To be honest, my style is pretty much whatever I feel like wearing at the time. But a pair of black tracksuit bottoms, a black t-shirt, a tactical vest jacket and a pair of shades are my essentials.

What does Ben Sherman mean to you? 
For me, Ben Sherman is a classic British brand. It’s got such a rich heritage in the British fashion scene and one that resonates with so many people of all backgrounds. My favourite piece would probably be the sand corduroy jacket. I wear a lot of clothes with similar colour tones, so it fits my style perfectly.

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