Bonsergent Studio, Vintage Shop
A perfect example of figuring out how to turn what you love into a business, Ben and Cristian from Bonsergent Studio have us dreaming of European vintage stores via their picture-perfect shop and feed @bonsergentstudio. Based in Paris but sourced everywhere they have traveled, keep scrolling to read about how the shop started, the revival of vintage, and their tips for what to do when you make it to Paris.
First off! Tell us about yourselves and how you got into vintage sourcing?
Bonjour! Our team is composed of Ben, who is from the south of France, and Cristian, an Argentinian from Buenos Aires. We met in Barcelona ten years ago and after living in Spain for several years we decided to move to Paris, which is where we are based most of the year. Our venture into vintage sourcing began while trying to find an alternative way to dress for formal events. We started buying for ourselves but soon saw the opportunity for growth, so we started collecting women’s wear as well.
What prompted you to launch the Bonsergent Studio?
We wanted to create something that we could enjoy doing every single day. We spent a long time buying and collecting items with this project in mind and when we felt ready we got all the clothes for our first collection together and did photoshoots with our friends as models. This is how Bonsergent Studio was born.
The idea has always been to offer good quality vintage pieces that can be worn today as an alternative to the fast fashion industry. Bonsergent Studio is about doing what we love and offering pieces that we would wear and would buy.
What's your sourcing process like?
We select largely by cut, fabric, and color. It’s like creating a collection with pieces that are already made. The condition of each piece is key - we’ll never sell anything with stains or holes. To put our collections together we have to travel a lot, but most of our pieces are from France and are made in France or Italy. Sourcing is so inspiring and basing our collections on the garments we find drives our creativity.
Why do you think people are especially into vintage right now?
We think people are being more responsible and are changing the way they think about buying things. Personally, we prefer to spending money on items that were made responsibly with good material and that will withstand the tests of time rather than buying products that are made to use once and throw away.
What's one unexpected place you can find great vintage?
We love finding new pieces and everywhere we go we always embrace the challenge of finding the best vintage. For example, a few days ago we found some great items that will be part of our next collection while visiting a friend in a really small village in the south of France. Finding pieces to build our collections is part of our everyday life, which is why every piece has a story for us.
What do you love most about living in France? 5 favorite places we should check out?
Being in France is exciting and inspiring because it’s where so many things happened or started - there is history everywhere you go. Paris is Paris. It’s a great place for culture, art, and fashion, but it can feel a bit like a museum sometimes. We also love being close to nature and somewhere the sun shines so we try to travel often. Luckily, whenever we need to take a break we can go down to the south of France, where Ben is from.
There we particularly love Collioure, a small village made of stones between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a very inspiring place, where Picasso, Matisse, and other artists used to go. You can walk on its cobblestone streets with colorful houses surrounded by vines and wisteria.
In Paris, you should try Le Pain des Amis, a bread made traditionally with a lightly smoked taste in a small bakery dating from 1889, located on the corner of rue Yves Toudic and rue de Marseille in the 10th arrondissement.
If you need a break from the city you can go to Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement. It never feels crowded because it’s the biggest park in Paris. You can also just relax at Buttes-Chaumont in the north-east, a huge park with high hills from which one has a nice view of the city.
If you want to have a drink and experience a different atmosphere you can go around the Château d’Eau metro station in the 10th arrondissement. This area is always full of life with cool and affordable places, such as typical French “brasseries”, stores, and art galleries.
Beauty is everywhere in Paris so it’s hard to say what our favorite places are - we recommend that you rent a bike and get lost in the city!