Bensimons first caught our eye in the window of Jumelle last year, but we wavered too long about color choice. The simple canvas lace ups (la tennis lacet) and slip-ons (la tennis elastique) sold out quickly and Internet searches turned up no other sources in the U.S. (Our research now tells us they were available in NYC, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles beginning in 2008 — and, update, a reader tells us they’re at Urban Outfitters now, too. Not that we want to encourage chain shopping, but the Atlantic Ave. shop has a few teal and orange ones on sale now for $19.99!) The shoes are made by a French, family-run company that’s been around since WWII. French style goddesses Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin were early fans of Bensimons, which are made from a soft, washed canvas and a flexible rubber sole, unlike the white canvas Keds we grew up wearing that always took so long to break in.
Now that our local source is getting in multiple shipments, you can catch up on the trend. Candice Waldron, owner of Jumelle, tells us she’ll be getting navy lace-ups in late July, anthracite gray and dark green in August, and a mid-top lace up in anthracite gray and beige. You’ll have to wait until November for the mid-top suede. Candice currently has, in the store and online, select sizes in blue and purple lace ups and beige and white slip-ons (both $55).
Sweet William has kids’ sizes currently on sale in high tops in red and dark grey ($38.50), low tops in yellow, and slip-ons in coral (both $30.80).
And don’t worry, men, you can find your Bensimon lace ups here ($55).
(Editor’s note: Brooklyn Based received no free pairs of Bensimon shoes during the research and writing of this email, though if you want to send us some in purple, we’d be ok with that. Scratch that, if you want to send us one in each color, that’s a-ok!)