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The Bensimon Lifestyle

A Creative Universe that spans Fashion, Art and Tennis Shoes

Hailed as the inventor of the “Art de Vivre” Serge Bensimon is the founder of the epinomous French lifestyle Brand Bensimon. Launched in the seventies, this Parisian brand now includes apparel, book and concept stores, a gallery and International fashion collaborations. The brand is synonymous with parisienne style, infused with different cultures and inspiration from endless travels.

Being at the forefront and twisting the classics from the male wardrobe, the collections are feminine and authentic. Bensimon is a colorful fashion offering a creative promise and a timeless Parisian chic.

Bensimon Paris

Being at the forefront and twisting the classics from the male wardrobe, the collections are feminine and authentic. Bensimon is a colorful fashion offering a creative promise and a timeless Parisian chic.

footsteps and expanded the family heritage by founding Surplus Bensimon and introducing the now iconic Bensimon tennis shoes in 1978.

In 1978 an icon was born. La Tennis Bensimon shoes were an instant hit and became the must have item worn by celebrities and mortals alike becoming the core of his footwear offering for the past 25 years. Celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin were early adopters of the simple canvas and rubber-bottomed sneakers that come in a range of colors becoming, over the years, the everyday staple look across generations and part of the French emblem of Parisian fashion.

Combining simplicity with luxury as only the French do, this canvas shoe is 100% natural and made out of basic fabrics and rubber. It is so easy to care that you could throw it in the washing machine and dryer. The original shoe was white. It has since evolved into a new range of colours launched every season in the European market for thirty years. The French brand is now available on the U.S. market with its cotton tennis shoes collection; as well as introducing new materials such as suede, leather and sherling so they can be worn year-round.

Bensimon shoes Paris

Following the sneakers success story, the French brothers pioneered the lifestyle concept store and launched Autour du Monde in 1989. This was

the first Bensimon store in Paris, located in the Bohemian Le Marais district in Paris. In 1984 the Bensimon Apparel Collection launched – a line for men and women inspired by world travel, vintage and the military. The functional items of clothing turned out to be the new fashion vision that combined an elegant aesthetic with the day to day ultilitarian look. The two visionary brothers continued to travel the world in search of the finest and unusual products to bring back to France, creating their authentic Parisian style. Classics were enhanced by an elegant, yet casual style that was steeped in quality and an attention to detail that still today defines the brand.

Bensimon

Serge Bensimon

Gallery Bensimon

No one to rest on his laurels, the Bensimon opened this first ‘Home’ shop and concept store in Paris in 1986. The concept-store translated the brand’s vision into a bright and colourful space where accessories, design objects, furniture, ready-to-wear clothes and shoes encapsulated the spirit of openness and cultural influences collected across a globetrotter’s journey. The concept store has become the brand’s trademark when it comes to combining the worlds of fashion and decoration. Innovative displays and collections always present new styles and ways of interpreting living spaces. A second concept store Home Autour du Monde opened in 1992, containing more decoration items, textile collections, artist exhibitions, music, books, perfumes and cosmetics.

“The lifestyle I have created with ‘Home Autour du Monde’ is the result of mixing not just objects but ideas and inspirations all together. My intention is not to follow fashion trends but to create something different, an alternative of what you see every day on the streets.”

Three years later, in 1989 Bensimon opened yet another store – the Artazart Design Book Store situated in the emblematic library of the famous Parisian Canal Saint Martin district. This bookstore offers a premium selection of graphic, art and design books, and was mentioned by the Huffington Post as one of the top 10 best libraries in the world. Aside from becoming a great location for events and art projects.

This has now become the first PARISIAN concept store dedicated to the graphic image, the launch of the magazine A PART. More than a magazine, this book is a new CREATION, a new concept of an art book. In limited edition, it is a real piece of exception and collection of the work of inspiring artists, photographers, stylists and journalist in France and internationally.

Stack of shoes
Stack of book Bensimon Paris

Serge Bensimon has proved to be a talented business man and visionary. By searching the world for the Beautiful and the Rare, he has come across younger and newer generations of designers and talents to work with. Collaborating with architects and designers alike, he has nurtured his passion for art and design, and finally in 2009 he took the concept of Bensimon’s “Art de Vivre” to the next level with the opening of “La Gallery S. Bensimon.” Located in the Marais, one of Paris’ most visited neighbourhoods, this exhibition space features three to four exhibitions per year. It epitomises Bensimon’s vision of a space form creative expression where contemporary art meets design.

I wanted to create a space where foreign designers and emerging artists have the opportunity to express themselves. I wanted to give them a place of creativity.

Bensimon Shoes
Bensimon shoes

La Gallery S. Bensimon merges the art world with design objects, furniture and photography. This is just another example of the fascinating world created by this entrepreneur, globetrotter, art lover and talent scout. Serge Bensimon believes that the lifestyle he has created is all about “complementary visions.” This si also why collaborations have become very important for the brand’s future. In his words: “Collaboration is very important because each designer gives an idea and together it means

something more than just the original shoes. I’ve done them for almost 15 years, starting with Jean Paul Gaultier, [then] with Chanel and other French brands. So when coming to America, I’m working on collaborations [similar] to those I do in France, but with an American designer, such as maybe Donna Karan or Marc Jacobs.” Bensimon collaborations all start with an

encounter, a crush or a desire, where fashion is not exclusive to a textile or clothing.

This tireless drive towards the discovery of new ideas, people and palces is a continious source of inspiration for his collections. From Mexico to Japan and from New York to Paris, this inspirational figure has truly seen it all and developed a personal eye stemming from more than 30 years experience.

“Whenever I am in a different country, I immediately feel the need to talk to local people and learn about their culture. For me, travelling means beautiful encounters, new friendships and lots of creativity. That is where I take inspiration from.”

Bensimon is a family story! The brand conveys its values and DNA from generation to generation: the spirit of sharing, of openness to the world, of a colourful vision of life, of passion for unique pieces and timeless products. Carrying these values, the company, embodied by two brothers, Serge and Yves Bensimon is constantly guided by encounters, passion and interaction. Honest, human, modest and kindhearted, Bensimon believes in the future with confidence and optimism.

Bensimon, la parisienne

Transversal, the brand explores every universe from fashion to decoration going through design. Travel is a continuous source of inspiration and has a substantial presence in all the collections which invite to discovery. At Bensimon, we talk about lifestyle, a certain vision of the daily art or living.

Bensimon Shoes
Bensimon shoes