New sneakers from Paris at P2k ++By Margie Quimpo-Espino
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Slippers have always been the footwear of Filipinos in the house.
Every one had a pair. But for a certain segment of society, they were rarely worn outside the homes.
Ten years ago, everything changed in the slipper sector.
A group brought slippers into the market which cost ten times more what the local popular slippers, Spartan, cost then.
At almost P1,000 per pair, you think the market shied away from it?
The opposite happened.
Terry S. A., brought Havaianas to the country from Brazil.
Havaianas, sold thousands of slippers and became the shoewear of Filipinos for their daily and outdoor wear to the point where some nightclubs put out signs saying “no slippers allowed.”
Today, chances are nearly every Filipino in the A to C brackets have a pair of Havaianas slippers. The class D to E contend with the Havaianas “knock offs.”
Sales of the slippers have leveled off after reaching unbelievable heights.
Now the company has brought another footwear line. This time from France—Bensimon sneakers.
As Anne Gonzalez, president of Terry S.A., states, their company “is constantly on the look out for brands that have a unique point of view, are optimistic, fun and work well with the Filipino lifestyle.”
She says Bensimon is a heritage brand.
In finding out the history of the shoewear, Google states that the owner, Serge Bensimon, is a tireless traveler. He went from military surplus to fashion, from design and art to literature, with a centered vision: A certain idea of lifestyle where color, elegance and the joy of living are intertwined … always.
In the early ’80s, he opened, with his brother Yves, their first boutique in the Marais, on the famous rue des Francs Bourgeois. Inspired by the world of travel, the brand becomes Bensimon collections around the world. Immediately, other shops emerged including Home Around the World. Home Around the world covers respective lines of ready-to-wear and decorative items. This gives a rise to a real lifestyle.
Anne says eventually they will bring the other products of Bensimon which even includes houseware but for now they are focusing on the shoe line.
The sneakers of Bensimon cover an array of styles, colors, and prints for men, women and children.
“A certain idea of lifestyle where color, elegance and the job of living are intertwined…always,” which is the central vision of Serge Bensimon himself, clearly translates into Bensimon’s most sought after classic shoe collection: La tennis Bensimon. These sneakers which embody the brand’s target to create “perfect imperfections” falls in line with combining comfort and simplicity with luxury and Parisian elegance.
According to Ammiel De Leon, Bensimon Philippines’ Brand Director, Bensimon effortlessly mixes the universe of the wearer with Parisian chic. It is considered everyday’s friend with a rich heritage of quality and style.
“We aim to challenge the perception of Filipinos about sneakers in the country from a footwear category that is identified with grunge and roughness to one that is sophisticated and stylish. The Bensimon lifestyle highlights the perfect imperfections of Paris,” he shares.
Other than Havaianas and Bensimon, Terry S. A. also manages distributions of David and Goliath, Dupe, and Pininho here in Manila.
As Anne puts it, their company “is constantly on the look out for brands that have a unique point of view, are optimistic, fun and work well with the Filipino lifestyle. With its solid French heritage, chic and casual ease, along with its expansive product offering, Terry S.A. introduced Havaianas to Filipinos and not only did it change their approach to dressing, it prompted an entire category of casual footwear in the market. Although Bensimon sneakers are of a different style altogether, Terry S.A. is confident of its place in the Philippine market. “We know this category well and believe that Bensimon sneakers will find a place in many shoe closets in the country,” Anne shares.
Bensimon sneakers will be made available in Center of Gravity (Forbes Town, Burgos Circle and Centris Walk), Shoe Salon (Glorietta 3, Power Plant Mall Rockwell, Robinson’s Ermita, 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.