It was founded by its namesake in 1935.
Company founder Benjamin Franklin Davis' grandfather
Jacob Davis was instrumental in the creation of
Levi's Jeans. Despite
absolutely no advertising Ben Davis is very popular
amongst many music related subcultures, especially
West Coast rappers. The clothing is very popular
among Chicano and "cholo" youth culture.
Ben Davis shirts have been shown in the 1992 "Let
Me Ride" video from the artist Dr. Dre, and
the Beastie Boys, a New York based hip-hop outfit,
have mentioned the brand in their music. Chicano
rapper Lil' Rob has mentioned Ben Davis clothing
in his songs. Ice Cube mentions Ben Davis in his
song "Ghetto Vet" on his War and Peace
Vol. 1 album & also wears a Ben Davis shirt
on his "Friday" music video.
Ben Davis is run by his son Frank, who was interviewed
in a 1995 Grand Royal magazine article.
The iconic logo of the brand is a smiling gorilla
which has been said to be the inspiration for the
xlarge clothing logo, also a gorilla.
At one time the tags on Ben Davis items boasted "Union
Made Plenty Tough" although this has now been
changed to "USA Made Plenty Tough" as
they had a dispute with the union workers.