Why America’s Oldest Custom-Shirt Brand Picked the Covid Recession to Launch a Touching New Video

Two generations of the Hamilton family talk about the value of tradition

jim hamilton
Jim Hamilton, who turned the business over to his children 14 years ago, introduces viewers to his father Joseph (r.) and grandfather Bernard. Courtesy of Hamilton

As an avowed history fan and the fourth-generation scion to run his family’s shirt-making business, David Hamilton is aware that Hamilton Shirts has made it through worse than the Covid-19 pandemic. There was the last pandemic, for one, the Spanish Flu of 1918 that killed 675,000 Americans and caused double-digit losses to businesses across the country. But Hamilton Shirts, the oldest custom shirt brand in the country, kept its doors open. World War I and II, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the OPEC oil embargoes, Black Monday—the family-run company somehow soldiered through all of those disasters, too.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.