Poor Man’s Suit

Text: Anna Sanders

In response to fast fashion exhaustion, and to what he saw as a missing wardrobe staple, stylist Bonne Reijn designed an every-day, every-wear suit, a universal uniform to transcend gender, age and occasion. In 2014 Bonne Suits was born, in a limited run of black and white basics, with a nod to simplicity, to the Amsterdam street scene and to unselfconscious style – one shaped by personality, not labels and seasons. Eschewing the disposable, Bonne Suits are built to last with timeless design and hardworking textiles. In dusty pistachio and denim twill, the two pieces claim ground between formal attire and utilitarian basics; honest, affordable, anti-occasion wear that brings a sense of formality to the streetwear scene: the poor man’s suit.

Why a suit?

When I started thinking about Bonne Suits four years ago, I set myself three goals that I wanted to achieve: firstly for my friends to like them, secondly to make the suit accessible again, and a key part of the street scene, and thirdly, and this was the biggest goal, to introduce simplicity back to fashion. For me the fashion industry presents too many silly options, this is bad for the way people look and most of all, bad for the environment.

Who is the Bonne Suit girl/boy?

Everyone, I made my suit for everyone. See it as a uniform for your character. I think clothes nowadays derive you of your personality. Some people might say it would be dull if everybody wore the same, but I disagree, as then style will be more about your personality, and not about what shirt you’re wearing.

Why was creating a unisex, sustainable label important to you? 

I want to rid the fashion industry of all these bullshit options and the huge quantities of overproduction.

You launched at a time when ‘normcore’ was a popular idea, do you think this return to discreet, comfortable dress is the way forward in fashion?

Yes for sure. Subcultures are fading for me, it’s all about personality. I think my suit is the ultimate form of normcore.

 

You offer runs over seasons, what is the motivation behind this and the timings for each release?

I just want to go against all the things you ‘’have’’ to do in fashion. I can produce a batch of suits in less than 2 months from scratch.

How do you decide which colour, cut and fabric will make up the next run?

make the colour together with Marte Mei van Haaster at the Rietvelt Academy in Amsterdam. The fabric until now has been denim or twill and I’m going to introduce corduroy. Fabric-wise I can do a lot. I can’t wait to make a suede one!

 

How do your suits fit with the Amsterdam street scene?

Everyone’s wearing it. House-wives, street kids, ghetto kids, rich kids, lawyers. Everyone.

 

Which other cities would you like to see embrace Bonne Suits, and why?

Everywhere. But my biggest compliment of course would be that Kim Jong-un buys them for his communist ideas and people.

If you could only wear one outfit again, what would it be?

If it would be practical and widely accepted, then nothing. Otherwise, of course, my suit.

 

What’s next for Bonne Suits:

No idea actually. People are starting to pick up on the idea and I really want to start setting things up abroad. A key part with accessibility is price so I want to avoid stores as they make my product four times more expensive – I want to find kids all over the world who want to sell my suits in their cities so we can go for world domination!


Photography © Bonne Suits