Benjie was established in 2011. Born from the contraction of Benjamin, Jeremiah, children of their creator, Christian Bagnoud, the brand also has its own shop for a year in Geneva . His niche? The leather shoe “Made in Europe”. All models are designed in Switzerland and then manufactured in Portugal with European materials. To face the bise, the winter shoes are in addition filled with virgin wool.
Design side, it is rather classic. Without loupiotes that blink no flood of princesses or Disney cars. Which does not prevent some touches of colors funny. We cracked for the yellow rising sneakers. Provided with large tabs and scratch, they are particularly easy to put on for the little ones. All models feature some clever details like the graduated removable outsole that allows parents to easily check if the shoes are always the right size. The prices remain a little below the top brands for children, from 70 to 130 francs.
Christian Bagnoud has always had a foot in fashion. His parents owned a children’s clothing store in Crans-Montana and worked for eighteen years in marketing at H & M. Also when he discovered one day that the shoes he had just bought a fortune for his sons were already damaged, he thought there was an opportunity to seize.
Today, he divides his time between the factory that produces his shoes in Portugal, his drawing board and the shop. “We control all stages of production,” he says. In order to sell quality shoes at a reasonable price, intermediaries had to be dispensed with. On Saturday, I spend my day with customers, so much crouching time that my jeans have holes at their knees. But it is very important to stay in touch with customers so that they can get back on the products and offer good after-sales service. “Non-Genevans can order Benjie shoes online. And arm themselves with patience. Christian Bagnoud is already dreaming of expanding.
Store Benjie, 19, Neuve-du-Molard Street, Geneva, tel. 022 810 82 38, Mon-Fri 10-18h30 and 10-18, www.benjie-shoes.com