brand Baltimore-Paris creates convertible overalls
that can be worn in full or can unzip the bib for
a bottoms-only look. Co-founder Quentin Bouche,
26, of Paris came up with the idea after finding
the perfect overalls in Mount Vernon, Md., vintage
shop The Zone during a road trip in the United
years ago, Quentin Bouche of Paris and his friend Nicky
Dimbenza went on a road trip on the East Coast of the
United States. Among the many stops they made, their day
spent in Baltimore would prove the most significant: It
inspired a new fashion line.
visiting the Mount Vernon vintage store The Zone, they
became enamored of a pair of jean overalls they found.
thought it was cool. We bought it, and we continued our
road trip," said Bouche, 26.
said they soon returned to Paris and went on with their
lives, but in 2015, he and Dimbenza thought more about
the overalls, noticing that while many clothing lines
had overalls ó or in French, salopettes ó in their
collections, the fabric and design werenít of good
quality and most were made for women.
had a revelation: What if they created the perfect
began toiling with different designs, fabrics, zips and
buttons in hopes of creating a winning style that could
be worn anywhere.
wanted to make it (shaped). Ö We wanted people to wear
it to the office, parties and wherever to feel good in,
well-dressed and not like ĎIím going to the
countryside,í " said Bouche, who co-founded the
brand in early 2016.
and Dimbenza created a two-in-one overalls prototype
whose bib could be removed with a quick zip, allowing
the bottom half to be worn separately.
name, Bouche said, came easily ó Baltimore-Paris ó
an homage to both the city in which they found the
overalls and to their hometown, in which the first
showroom would be hosted.
Jenkins, 62, who opened The Zone 36 years ago, said she
was flattered that Baltimore-Paris was inspired by her
love to be infectious. Ö Thatís a great compliment.
I just try to get the best of the best of what I find,
that is interesting, unique and stands out," said
Jenkins, who still carries an array of overalls in the
store and on its Etsy site.
put them on and thatís it," said Jenkins.
"You can change up your T-shirts ó wear a shirt
with a bow tie ó you can do a lot with it. Ö Itís
simplicity and durability, and it almost walks away from
the essence of the clothing startup is indeed a step
away from corporate America. Housed in a co-working
space and showroom in Paris with about 15 other local
brands, Baltimore-Paris is managed solely by Bouche,
with one other employee and his partner, Marion Clement,
who focuses on styling and design. (Bouche said Dimbenza
left the company in January.)
who has been working in the startup industry in Paris
for the past three years, says he didnít have fashion
experience before he started Baltimore-Paris, so it was
a challenge. It meant traveling back and forth to
factories in Porto, Portugal, where many French brands
were producing their clothing, and hiring a freelance
stylist to assist the brand. It also meant finding the
money to create the unique designs for Baltimore-Paris
that would separate it from other brands creating
entrepreneurs. Itís not easy every day. We donít pay
ourselves yet, so itís quite difficult. You need a lot
of investment to start," said Bouche, who hosted an
online campaign on the European crowdfunding website
Ulule last June to raise money for the brand. Their
objective was more than 100 sales. They sold 115.
was good insight for the future of the brand," he
said. "But being famous as a brand, it needs a lot
of time and thereís a lot of competition, and thatís
why we chose to do the brand as overalls as a
mono-product. For us, it was important to do something
very different and something that people canít do. Ö
Weíre not another brand of T-shirts."
collection now makes seven styles of overalls for women,
including overalls with detachable pants, skirts and
shorts in different colors and fabrics, and two for men,
both pants versions.
model is named after a neighborhood in the world where
the founders had visited or lived and noticed a distinct
vibe and a vibrant energy that had developed within the
past decade, Bouche said, including Williamsburg in
Brooklyn, N.Y., Shoreditch in London, Sodermalm in
Stockholm, Sweden, and Kreuzberg in Berlin. Bouche said
those cities reminded him of what he saw in Baltimore.
was like a symbol for us. Ö We really appreciated the
atmosphere in" Baltimore, said Bouche, adding that
the line also makes T-shirts and tote bags.
DiMarco, director of education at the Maryland Fashion
Institute, said overalls, which were originally used by
farmers and laborers, first emerged on the fashion scene
in the mid-to-late 1970s as a convenient, slimming and
comfortable whole look, often for a more youthful crowd.
never bought into that fad because I didnít like the
idea that you have to have the whole garment come off.
Itís not practical," she said, but she predicts
that a brand like Baltimore-Paris will likely be
cost-effective and convenient, especially with its
a great selling point Ö because you can mix and match,
and you can make different outfits," she said,
adding that itís a strategic way of line development,
in which designers "start with one good foundation
piece, and change it around and come up with other
a great feature that you donít see in other"
lines, she said.
Troxel, 24, of Chicago said he bought two pairs of
Baltimore-Paris menís overalls in black velvet and
denim wash in January after seeing their Instagram page.
loved the idea of overalls, just something on the market
thatís substantial," said Troxel, who had checked
out companies like ASOS and Urban Outfitters for
overalls, but often found that they were costly and didnít
have the right fit. He was also intrigued that the line
had both menís and womenís overalls in stock.
said the overalls fit well, and serve as a statement
outfit thatís easy to throw on.
definitely think itís great for someone Ö who is
looking for a good alternative to a very trendy menís
romper Ö or maybe someone who is looking for an
elevated alternative, one-piece," he said. "I
wear them all the time."
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Almond, 27, of Los Angeles was introduced to the brand
in May after Bouche, whom she met years ago in Scotland,
sent her a sample of dark-washed denim overalls with a
skirt called Byres Road, which was named after a street
in Glasgow, Scotland.
love it. Iím not the most fashion-minded person Ö
but it makes me feel fashionable," said Almond.
"It reminds me of when I was younger. Weíd wear
overalls, and it was kind of a childish thing, but
(Baltimore-Paris) makes it very grown-up, fun to wear.
fact that I can get more outfits out of it is also a
plus as well. Itís very comfortable. I feel like you
can dress it up and down. Ö I havenít seen anything
like it, and itís also fun to say something is from
the launch, Baltimore-Paris, which delivers
internationally, is now sold in various reseller shops,
mostly in Paris, on various marketplace websites like La
Redoute and LíException, and Bouche said there are
plans to sell the line in Galeries Lafayette, a major
French department store chain.
said the company is looking for more investments and to
expand to other cities, including Tokyo, which has a
showroom interested in reselling their clothing. He also
wants to do pop-ups, international trade shows and brand
collaborations and to gain more investors, especially in
would love to do a pop-up store in Baltimore," said
just want to do a brand that is inspired by the world in
general ó cool places that are moving with the
people," he said. "Of course, you feel the
French touch, because thatís us in Paris, but at the
same time, we want to show that weíre open to the