Ike Behar

About Ike: History of Ike Behar

Our story began in Havana, Cuba, where Ike Behar’s father, Samuel, was a respected tailor who owned a shop called La Confianza (The Confidence). From a young age, the store was something of a second home for Ike, who spent countless hours observing his father’s work and learning as much as possible about the trade. Before long, Ike was stitching fabric beside his father and, by age seventeen, was experimenting with his own designs and producing hand-crafted custom shirts to complement his father’s luxury suits.

In 1952, at the age of twenty, Ike immigrated to New York City in pursuit of the American Dream. With a mere fifty dollars to his name, Ike was compelled to take his first job at a small tailor shop on a trial basis. Within a week, the owner recognized Ike’s talent and offered him a full-time position. From this point on, Ike devoted his life to the craft of shirtmaking.

Over the next few years, Ike enlisted in the U.S. Army (serving in the Korean War), started his first business providing alterations for fellow soldiers, and met his life-long partner—and Ike Behar co-founder—Regina (Altaras) Behar, before saving enough money to buy his own New York City-based shop in 1957. In this modest shop, Ike continued to perfect his craft over the next decade, developing his own techniques, such as the diamond-quilted collar, which he later patented.

Ike’s reputation for quality continued to spread when a young tie-maker named Ralph Lauren approached him at his shop. Ike’s expert craftsmanship and style immediately impressed Lauren, who was interested in expanding his business beyond ties. Before long, Ike started designing shirts for the Ralph Lauren collection, marking the start of a strong business partnership that would last for 12 years.

From his early struggles to succeed in the United States to his army service, Ike Behar fostered a strong connection to the American worker. Despite the industry’s shift toward outsourcing production, Ike saw tremendous opportunity in manufacturing shirts domestically. No company was producing high-quality shirts that were made in America. Ike saw an opportunity to fill this void and give American consumers the product they deserved.

Soon, with the help of his wife Regina and their three sons, Steven, Alan, and Lawrence, Ike Behar began manufacturing shirts in Miami under his own private label. In March of 1983, Menswear magazine called this new, up-and-coming brand the industry’s “well-kept secret,” but before the season ended, the secret was out.

Since then, Ike Behar’s product line has expanded beyond dress shirts to include sport shirts, ties, sport coats, suits, handkerchiefs, underwear, and more. Although the business has grown tremendously since its inception, our firm commitment to quality and attention to detail have persisted. To this day, every product bearing the Ike Behar label is created by experienced craftsmen. We continue to use the diamond-quilted collar, single-needle stitching techniques, and luxurious high thread-count fabrics that earned our company its reputation for excellence.

Currently, Ike Behar’s three sons run the company’s operations, though Ike remains actively involved in the business. It is this family atmosphere that has enabled the Ike Behar reputation to endure for half a century. The Behars truly pour their hearts into the company. As a result, everyone who works at Ike Behar shares the family’s energy, enthusiasm, and commitment. The prevailing attitude throughout the company is that with continued hard work and dedication to our founding principles, Ike Behar will continue to set the industry standard for craftsmanship, quality, elegance, and style for many years to come.


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