Serge Bensimon: The inventor of an “Art de Vivre”

Serge Bensimon

Opening Home Autour du Monde – Pyramides.

PARIS, France — I, like many other students, working moms, businessmen, tourists and even movie stars such as Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler, have wandered the streets of Paris wearing a pair of the iconic Bensimon tennis shoes. Being a huge fan of the sneaker myself, I have to admit that whenever I put on my favourite pair of Bensimon’s, I secretly start singing Paolo Nutini’s song: “…Hey, I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right…” Around for over three generations, “La tennis”, Bensimon’s little star, has become over the past few years one of the symbols of the French lifestyle across Europe, the United States and beyond. But Bensimon is more than just shoes and garments, the brand, embodied by its creator, Serge Bensimon, is also the story of a lifetime of travel and hard-work.

A trip around the world

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the opening of the second “Home Autour du Monde”, Bensimon’s new concept-store in Paris. The first “Home” opened in 1989 and has ever since been the brand’s trademark when it comes to combining the worlds of fashion and decoration. “Home Pyramides” is not just a new version of what Serge Bensimon started twenty years ago; it is also an innovative collection of displays corresponding to new ways of life and generations. As Serge Bensimon commented:

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.

Serge Bensimon

Opening Home Autour du Monde – Pyramides.

Serge Bensimon

Opening Home Autour du Monde – Pyramides.

The new concept-store is a bright and colourful space where accessories, design objects, furniture, ready-to-wear clothes and shoes are harmoniously arranged in order to make every client feel like a guest. There is something very cosy about Bensimon’s new store but most importantly, a place like this makes you feel that you are about to embark on a globetrotter journey.

A tireless traveller

Serge Bensimon has spent most of his life travelling around the world in search of new inspiration for his collections. From Mexico to Japan and from New York to Paris, this inspirational figure has seen it all!

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.

Serge Bensimon

Serge Bensimon

Serge Bensimon

Opening Home Autour du Monde – Pyramides.

The brand and its lifestyle are also synonymous of what French people call: “Joie de vivre”. When I asked Monsieur Bensimon why colour is such an essential component of the timeless Bensimon style, he genuinely affirmed: “What can I say, I consider myself an optimist and colour brings life to all kind of things.”

A visionary

I was lucky enough to meet Serge Bensimon at the brand’s beautiful Showroom located in the Saint-Martin Canal. From his very warm welcome, I could immediately tell that there was much more behind this incredible “visionnaire” than the successful businessman we all know. And I was not wrong, since Serge is also passionate about art and design. In 2009, he took the concept of Bensimon’s “Art de Vivre” to the next level with the opening of the “Gallery S. Bensimon”, located in the Marais, one of Paris’ most visited neighborhoods. Displaying three to four exhibitions per year, the gallery is a space of 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.

Serge Bensimon

Interior Gallery S. Bensimon , Paris.

The Gallery S. Bensimon merges the art world with design objects, furniture and photography. This is just an example among many others 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”. He is currently considering travelling to South America in order to renew his inspirations and mesmerise us with his forthcoming collections.

We invite you to use this exclusive promo code [LUCKYFG] generated for our FG readers and claim 20% off for any order over 60 euros at eshop.bensimon.com. The offer is valid from 11th to 23rd November, 2014. What are you waiting for?

Courtesy of: Serge Bensimon | Photography by: Isabel Rios | Website: www.bensimon.com
Mariela Saldias About the author

A passionate art historian with a Masters in Museology and Art History. She specialised in 19th century paintings, French and British, and shares her admiration of classical art and profound sense of beauty found in every Parisian corner.

Comments

  1. I can totally relate to that “makes you want to sing” feeling. Amazing how a pair of shoes can change your mood. Apart from that the store looks exquisite. All the details, and the colors each one of them in their own little perfect place. Lovely note! I actually made me feel as if I was there! 🙂

    ~Sasha

    • Elizabeth Deheza Elizabeth Deheza :

      Thanks Sasha for following us. We are very happy to hear that Mariela’s article has virtually transported you to Bensimon’s concept stores. And we couldn’t agree more with you and Mariela on the “makes you want to sing” feeling. Don’t miss the opportunity to use our limited promo code!

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