Monday, January 28, 2008

All About the Benjamin Shirts!

After attending the MAGIC fashion tradeshows for the last few years and getting an insider's view of graphic streetwear t-shirt trends, we were amazed at just how many shirts feature images of Benjamin Franklin – one of the founding fathers and architects of the Age of Enlightenment – presented as a tru gangsta, most often alongside a gun-toting Al Pacino SCARFACE tee.

This imagery is entirely due to Ben's presence on the $100 bill (a true symbol of worldly success, a princely sum which will more than pay for dinner for two at The Cheesecake Factory - with drinks), and one wonders what Dr. Franklin would make of this particular type of celebration of his image. Perhaps he would ask the graphic artists behind these images to join his Junto in order to open a dialogue about the issues confronting their community...?

As a send-up of this unoriginal, redundant barrage of tasteless streetwear, Shelf Life Clothing Co. has created the ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMIN tee, depicting a forlorn Ben making the humble plea "I REALIZE THAT THE FACT THAT I'M ON THE $100 BILL IS PRETTY EXCITING, BUT ALL OF MY HOMIES NEED TO CHILL A LITTLE AND RESPECT MY LEGACY."

Click here to check out the shirt at

Nerd chic at its finest, right?

If you'd like to know more about Benjamin Franklin, go to a public library (the very idea of a public library is one of Benjamin Franklin's contributions to mankind) or check out his dope fly Wikipedia page.

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