It all started with a pair of shoes. Not the ones pictured here but a plainer version of the famous Bensimon “Tennis” shoe that I sold while working at the boutique Koh Samui in Covent Garden, London. Unlike ba&sh, I hadn’t heard of the French brand Bensimon when I was living in France, which is a shame because I love their style. I guess you could describe it as a mixture of casual basics with a twist or Gap’s slightly cooler older sister.
According to the blurb on the Bensimon website, the adventure began pre-Converse in the mid-80s. Serge Bensimon was inspired by old army style sneakers and his cool, yet understated designs were soon picked up on by the French glitterati. Indeed, the fact that they don’t have a logo splashed across them and are fairly neutral are a real selling point and the shoppers at Koh Samui seemed to agree. The “Tennis” was one of the bestsellers because you can wear them with anything. They also cost from around £25 and last for ages, so they’re a fantastic buy for fans of the dress-down look. I picked up the pair of Bensimon Liberty print Tennis (pictured) at Found, Bath and they make an appearance teamed with a pair of jeans, shorts or even dress every summer.
If like me, you love what you see, you’ll be pleased to discover that Bensimon have expanded their range to include colourful basics, a trendy collection called B.Team, bags, luggage, lifestyle products and even music. From great little finds such as this « Les pieds dans l’eau » pillow by photographer Cécile Brulé for Chardons bleus (78 Euros) to their own label multifunctional travelling bag, Bensimon has become a on-stop concept store.
Whether the idea behind Gallery S.Bensimon and the store would work across la Manche remains to be seen but I’d like to think that all the hipsters in Dalston would embrace the no-fuss, utilitarian yet chic style of Bensimon.
Here are a few items from the clothing range and price-wise, it’s pretty reasonable:
The grey cardigan is 34,50 Euros and the skirt is 29,50 Euros.
Do you think Bensimon would work over here?
All photos (apart from the top photo) are copyright of Bensimon.