The French company, born in 1984 has brought its infamous canvas tennis shoes across the pond at long last…

For more than 20 years the only way to get yourself a pair of these funny/funky little shoes was to make your way to Europe where Bensimon shops are on virtually every street corner and you will literally find bins stuffed full of them.  A longtime staple of every chic French citizen’s wardrobe, regardless of economic status or social standing, these plimsouls can be seen on most every French man, woman and child.  Over the years, they have reached an almost cult-like status among certain Francophiles, because as we know all too well, anything that’s just out of our reach becomes oh so much more covetable!

So, the time has come at last and for the first time this Spring, Bensimon has brought La Tennis (pronounced tehn-nees) to North America!

Completely charming in an 80’s Bananarama/ Dexy’s Midnight Runner’s sort of way, fans include everyone from Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin to Kate Moss and Cameron Diaz.  With a design inspired by army surplus shoes, the two most classic styles are the lace-ups (best worn with no laces, of course!) and the slip on elastic (which resembles a cross between a ked and an espadrille). 

The high tops are another really good option, especially for boys and a welcome alternative to the ubiquitous Converse All Stars. 

In addition to the classic styles, there are a number of limited edition styles for Spring 08 which are available here:

All styles are constructed from canvas with rubber soles (Vegan friendly!), come in a wide array of cool colours to suit the most classic to the most trendy of tastes…and the price is nice at about $65.00 US, so you can afford to try more than one!

*Le Portrait Tennis by Charles Levy on the website (last row, box 3) features some beautiful images of what are ostensibly fans and their favourite pair.  Ch- ch- check it out…

Photos courtesy of