The amazing shoe brand “Bensimon” celebrated last year 30 years of ageless shoes and timeless design. These shoes, uniting women like you and me also include fancy names like Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, Natalie Portman and even members of the British Royal Family. Probably a good time to say that this Parisian chic is actually American?
Shoes have always been my weakness. If Imelda Marcos were to step into my shoe drawer, she would run out screaming, and then, like the good soul that she is, would organize a charity evening for me.
Shopping for clothes? No problem. Scarves and Handkerchiefs? As if we aren’t in the steaming Middle East. Shoes – They are my Achilles Heel (word play as a means of coping).
The shoes that enter my closet must meet a long list of criteria, as long as the Babylon exile.
The basic requirements from the nominated shoes: Comfort, durability, quality, that make a statement and that integrate with every aspect of my wardrobe.
In addition, they must allow a pseudo-nonchalant run after one of my 4 and a half year old twins.
Rough calculations estimate the amount of shoes to meet all criteria to be – zero, but Bensimon’s are all of that and more.
Jean Paul Sartre once said, “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you”. The Bensimon family, textile manufacturers since 1945, agree.
The days are post the Second World War, the world is licking its wounds and trying recover. Grandfather Bensimon is an Algerian immigrant, and a small textile manufacturer arriving at Paris. To increase income, he began importing second-hand clothes from America to sell in his little shop in the southern suburb of Paris.
A few years later, two of his sons – Serge and Eve – continue his legacy. Serge, a Fashion Designer and Eve who helped with administration and logistics. They chose to base their style on surplus military uniforms and work clothes, which were taken apart, dyed and reassembled to form something new. This is how Serge first encountered Plimsoll shoes (canvas shoes with a rubber sole) that were used in the US Military.
So, what makes Bensimon shoes to be a timeless fashion icon?
- Dress like a true Parisian – These women crossing the San Martin Canal with great confidence, accurate casual clothes and the most well behaved hair that knows what is expected from it, leaves us jealous and wanting for that same everyday-chic (and a light accent if possible). When looking at the ingredients making up the Parisian lifestyle we are sure to find Bensimon’s among the striped T’s.
- When trend meets tradition – Since the 1970s’, the Bensimon shoes have been produced in the same manner – 100% Cotton Canvas fabrics, traditional dye techniques and the rubber-compressing machine from the 1950’s.
- The Wisdom of the Crowd – The strength of the individual. The production method of the Bensimon Shoes ensure the no pair will be the same, so when equipping yourself with a pair you can be sure that you are the one and only.