Daring Origins: Thomas Magny
Street Tailor - Bonvilain
Montreal label Bonvilain has achieved enormous success since launching in 2013, and the man behind the brand is 25-year-old Thomas Magny.
After studying international relations and political science, Magny was suddenly inspired to launch his own clothing line alongside his cousin. “We had always been drawn to fashion. When we were younger, instead of getting the latest Tintin, we bought ourselves fashion magazines.”
With three credits left before graduation, Thomas Magny decided to change direction. “I no longer felt like entering into the world that I had prepared for: getting my diploma, seeking a steady job — I felt like taking on more stimulating challenges.”
“Today, being an entrepreneur is seen as ‘cool’. But you can’t get into business just for that. I really felt like establishing my own rules and creating my products.”
Influenced by urban fashion, Bonvilain can be described as minimalist style, comfort in an ample silhouette, and quality in its ethics and organic materials. Furthermore, all the collections are unisex—a sign that it’s a brand of the times. The same baseball jersey bathing suits, oversized shirts, and comfy 100% cotton sweaters are made for everyone.
Most importantly, all the clothing is designed and manufactured in Montreal. During a trip to the Congo in 2011, the entrepreneur realized that he must produce clothes locally, and above all, responsibly. “I saw horrible things over there that really marked me. Pollution, bad living and work conditions—I didn’t want to encourage this type of foreign production, which is often carried out to the detriment of the producing country,” Magny explains.
With the Bonvilain foundations well-defined, Magny is now concentrating on building a solid structure that will help him fully realize his vision. And there’s no lack of projects: international distribution, the opening of a shop-workshop, and much more.