40 year-old sneaker brand from Paris now in the Philippines

Bensimon Philippines
Bensimon Philippines

What makes Paris, Paris?

Is it the impressive architecture? The distinctive cuisine? The deep sense of art and culture so inextricably linked into every fiber of the Parisian lifestyle?

If we take it from the perspective of Patty Laurel who recently took to the streets of Paris, it’s the effortlessness that it exudes. The renowned TV personality and travel writer candidly notes that the city doesn’t have to try to make its mark, it just does.

“I’m a big fan of fashion, but I think what makes Parisians stand out is their style. It’s their understanding of what works for them, without trying too hard. It’s not at all pretentious,” she says as she astutely observes how this is most evident in the city’s famed sartorial inclinations.

The city has solidified its reputation as a fashion capital, after all. But again, it’s the vibe of chic insouciance that made them distinct. This is where the line between dressy and casual began to blur—because somehow, given their distinct and sophisticated style, Parisians found a way to redefine comfortable and utilitarian into stylish and elegant.

Take the humble sneaker for instance—the no-frills, all-functional footwear with historic ties to youth sub-cultures with a penchant for grunge music. As far back as thirty-seven years ago, two brothers decided to reinvent it into something that reflected their passion for the Parisian aesthetic. And with that, Serge and Yves Bensimon introduced the definitive footwear that paralleled the effortless Parisian style and grew it into a symbol for the sartorial elite.

Bensimon brothers
Bensimon brothers

The Bensimon style celebrates the different elements that define Parisian culture: diversity, color, elegance, comfort and quality. It’s a recipe that is equal parts trendy and classic—one that has now found its way onto Philippine shores.

But is the country really ready to redefine their concept of fashionable footwear? Are Filipinos prepared to embrace the antithesis of the age-old idea of deliberate dressing?

If it’s meant to give you the utilitarian comfort of a pair of trusty old kicks with the style quotient of dress shoes, why not?

“We’re challenging the perception behind sneakers with a brand that almost erases the line between casual and sophisticated by virtue of design and function,” explains Ammiel De Leon, Bensimon Philippines’ Brand Director.

For a brand that has built its reputation by tangibly representing the Parisian ideals into something useful and fashionable, there’s no better time to introduce Bensimon to fashion-savvy Filipinos who understand that style doesn’t have to be contrived. Like the city where Bensimon hails from, it represents a fashionable conviction of simplicity, Parisian elegance and perfect imperfections.

As Anne Gonzalez of Terry S.A. (the company that introduced brands like Havaianas, Thread 365, Dupe and Pininho in the country) puts it, “we are constantly on the lookout for brands that have a unique point of view, are optimistic, fun and work well with the Filipino lifestyle.” And what could be more appropriate than a brand that translates its heritage and vision to a pair of shoes that puts the spotlight on chic ease and stylish comfort?

Bensimon sneakers now in the Philippines
Bensimon sneakers now in the Philippines

With that said, there’s no better for Bensimon to make its mark here or around the world, for that matter. Sneakers have already broken the barriers between street wear and couture—finding its way onto high fashion runways just as often as you would see it on the streets—proving that when it comes to sneakers, there’s probably nowhere that the right pair cannot go.

[stextbox id=”astig”]Bensimon sneakers are available at CommonThread (Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall), Rustans (Gateway, Makati, Alabang Town Center, Shangrila), Center of Gravity (Burgos Circle and Centris Walk), Shoe Salon (Glorietta 3, Power Plant Mall Rockwell, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Trinoma), and Shoe Thing (Kids styles only: Bonifacio High Street, Eastwood Mall, and Greenbelt 5).

The price ranges from 2,095 to 2,565 for the men’s and women’s line and 1,295 to 1,795 for the kids’ styles. Visit www.bensimon.com.ph for more information.[/stextbox]