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Its bold, graphic-based t-shirts became legendary among this alternative community and as strong links to the music scene were established, Bench quickly developed into the streetwear label for urban subculture.

As Bench established a foothold in British culture, it extended its reach to Women’s wear and Children’s wear. Without compromising the urban roots from which it surfaced, the brand continued to grow and iconic innovations like thumb holes, double hoods and sleeve pockets defined the Bench look. This dedication to creativity and its urban roots keeps Bench perpetually installed in the zeitgeist of street fashion.

Bench clothing became synonymous with Manchester’s Acid House scene and was standard issue among regulars at the city’s most hallowed nightclub, the Haçienda.

The Bench logo was quickly adopted by cultural innovators from every corner of the globe and the brand established connections with all genres of contemporary music.

These links are as strong today as ever, with mutual support from artists at all levels, from grass roots emerging artists through to the biggest of international acts.

Associations with the likes of Oasis, Robbie Williams, Kaiser Chiefs, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Florence and the Machine keep Bench firmly in the fore and have even led to collaborations on albums and tours. This year Bench is the Official Streetwear Partner of Creamfields and Ibiza Rocks.

Inevitably, Bench has become a global operation and now has a presence in 30 countries across Europe, Canada and Australia. Few streetwear brands have the popularity and credibility to establish standalone stores, but Bench now have 10 dynamic outlets across the UK with more in the pipeline both at home and internationally.

In 2008, Bench Footwear was unleashed, featuring urban sneakers, hightops, wedges and boots, which exported Bench’s iconic look and feel for the first time to appeal to the part of the body closest to the street.

In Autumn 2009, in another exciting first, the inaugural Bench Sport collection ski and snowboard wear collection will go public.

This brand new range unites the technical innovation that snowsports enthusiasts demand, with iconic Bench styling, and will be closely followed in Spring 2010 by a breathtaking new surfwear collection.

What is clear is that Bench leads.

As it moves into new markets, expect more inspirational, innovative moves from this most iconic of British streetwear labels.

But don’t expect Bench to compromise its proud heritage, its passionate roots in Manchester’s underground scenes and its indisputable claim to being a building block in British culture.

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