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17 October 2014

The World of Serge Bensimon, Innovative globetrotter

Photo 1 : Portrait of Serge Bensimon / Photo 2 : Bensimon Addicted to Love © Bensimon

By Cécile Sepulchre

Insatiable traveller, Serge Bensimon surfs the world with an unwavering passion. “Travel has always been an integral element of the history of my brand.

It forms part of the ‘lifestyle’ concept and feeds my inspiration”, the designer explains. From his numerous travels, new ideas, inspirations and projects emerge, including little wagons, which attach to an engine, representing each one of his stopovers.

Just this month, no less than two tales have matured.

The house opens the doors of its new boutique “Bensimon Addicted to Love” in the Etienne Marcel district in Paris, stocking plimsolls and everything else. “We must not forget that our plimsolls have become one of the label’s icons. Here, every different style is on show, and a dozen other similar stores will be opening in Korea, Taiwan and Japan, etc”, imparts Serge Bensimon. 35 years after its launch, the brand has sold several thousand pairs around the world. And its newest boutique offers every kind; multi-coloured, printed, graffitied, flat or wedged. Ready to take on the world.

Never one to tackle a single venture, the opening of a ‘Home Autour du monde’ store also hits the headlines this start of term.

“This project comes 25 years, to the day, after the inauguration of the label’s first concept store on rue des Francs bourgeois. I wanted to gather together my different universes, in a modern setting. A clash of the Titans”, declares the designer.

Having opened this week, at 20 rue des Pyramides, in an up-and-coming district, this new shop is a demonstration of the richness of coherence surrounding the brand.

In this magnificent space – 200m squared over a single floor – with its walls in warm shades, unites nomadic objects, clothes and accessories, books and, above all, pieces of design and contemporary art, his principle passion of the moment. “From the start, I have advocated the idea of lifestyle, reuniting all the different aspects. An anti-fashion concept, completely original and current. Today, lifestyle is everywhere. Every luxury label must have it,” he comments, wryly.

In this concept store, already established in Taiwan and soon to be introduced in Korea, shoppers can discover the entirety of this nomadic world constructed by this globetrotter.

“During my travels, I realised that I needed a colourful bag, one that is easy to spot at the airport, a clutch bag, a passport holder, and so I came up with my own. I favour materials that don’t crease and multi-use clothing. Then I like to explore new, quirky or simply beautiful objects, and I make it happen”, explains Serge Bensimon. We also notice new carpets designed by an Israeli, pieces of Japanese design and Mexican jewellery. Giving him a buzz, South America is definitely the flavour of the moment. And it is Mexico in particular, with all its vibrant colours, which strengthen the country in its black denial. Perhaps this is where his future travels will lead him…

“Bensimon Addicted to Love”, 78 rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Paris 75001.
“Home Autour du monde”, 20 de la rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris.

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