Ben Davis (clothing)
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Company founder Benjamin Franklin Davis' grandfather Jacob Davis was instrumental in the creation of the original Levi's jeans. Ben Davis started in San Francisco, California. The clothing was mostly worn by construction workers because of its sturdy, rugged, high quality. It later was worn by Chicano, caucausian, and filipino youth. The original store was on Valencia street in the Mission district. San Franciscan locals are very proud of Ben Davis and wear it as a badge of honor representing the city. Later the clothing would catch on in Los Angeles and other parts of the U.S.
Despite absolutely no advertising, Ben Davis is popular in some music-related subcultures, especially West Coast rappers. The clothing is 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, the Beastie Boys have mentioned the brand in their music, and Eazy-e used a Ben Davis shirt in his music video for the song Real Motherfuckin G's. Chicano rapper Lil Rob has mentioned Ben Davis clothing in his songs. Also the Mexican rapper Mr. Yosie 'lokote' made an entire song about the Ben Davis clothing, called "Ben Davis mi marca" ('Ben Davis my brand'). Ice Cube mentions Ben Davis in his song "Ghetto Vet" on his War and Peace Vol. 1 album and also wears a Ben Davis shirt on his "Friday" music video. On Bangin' on Wax, the 1993 album by Bloods & Crips, Crip rapper AWOL refers to Ben Davis clothing on the song "K's Up". Kid Rock mentions Ben Davis slacks in his song "American Bad Ass" from the 2000 album The History of Rock. Its major competitor is Dickies.
Ben Davis is run by his son Frank, who was interviewed in a 1995 Grand Royal magazine article.
At one time[when?] the tags on Ben Davis items read "Union Made Plenty Tough" although this has now been changed to "USA Made Plenty Tough" as they had a dispute with the union workers. More recently, production of some products has been moved to the Dominican Republic. Accordingly, the logo now states "Est. 1935 Plenty Tough".