Photos by Eric Hanson
We began our time in Paris at a small showroom on Rue de Crussol. It sits through a pair of doorways, nestled to the side of a small courtyard that sports an unexpected orange tree and an inviting bench. In the same building, families are preparing for work or school, and the occasional shout from a child sporting a backpack is a reminder that despite being in the Marais, in the center of the swamp that hosts the black-clad locusts swarming after fashion’s bounty, we’re metaphorically quite distant from the circus.
The showroom itself is low-ceilinged, a row of windows paneling one side, letting in the overcast morning light - a greenhouse, sporting racks of clothing as opposed to plants. We’re visiting De Bonne Facture, where Déborah Neuberg has constructed a truly beautiful line of classic men’s pieces, re-worked with a care and specificity that’s mildly shocking - borderline absurd.
She arrives with Pim’s and croissants, for which we are very grateful. We sip Nespresso from distressingly beautiful cups, and admire the clothing (and allow Deborah time to absorb the caffeine) before we begin to quiz her on her newest collection.
Déborah Neuberg, in the De Bonne Facture showroom
A comfortably slim but slouchy silhouette defines the season, and Deborah’s interpretations of various types of workwear form the backbone of the collection. Breton knits are done in thick, supple yarns and finished with vintage stamped-horn buttons, the coach jacket is presented in an incredibly thick and textured woven wool, and the slouchy coats (creatively called the “Slouch Coat”) have a wonderful fit and shape that I can only describe as “effetely Parisian.”
The "Coach" Jacket - perhaps our favorite single piece
The "Slouch" coat in a refined herringbone weave
There are several standouts. We are all blown away by the outerwear, but the knits have a heft and shape to them that manages to suggest loving heritage with winking modernity. The brushed flannel overshirts are jewel-like in their perfection, and the gloves and leather accessories are cut with a precision that suggests a laser but is rather a celebration of simplicity in perfection. A brown suede bomber is equally stunning, and an achingly beautiful shearling jacket shies away from the current trend towards militaria and offers instead a stripped-down blouson shape that lets the materials shine. I am tempted to steal it when Déborah isn’t watching, to throw it on over a thick, waffle-knit turtleneck, and to spend the rest of the day eating oysters and drinking rosé.
An exquisite flannel shirt offers sharp lines and impeccable tailoring
Coats and jackets this season are lined with patterning canvas, a subtle reminder of Deborah’s emphasis on the importance of the atelier. Instead of shying away from a garment’s provenance, she prefers to celebrate the people who make her clothing. And she ought to - for they are all constructed to a fantastic standard. Every tag informs the buyer of where the product was produced, and the brand’s website offers stories and descriptions of every workshop. These are the finest makers in France, and they - and Déborah - are proud of their product.
Every tag celebrates the provenance of the garment
Stunning suede and leather accessories round out the collection
Most importantly, the collection is seamless. This is difficult to communicate: Déborah’s clothing is not basic, but each little block fits together with a precision that mirrors the sharp patterning. This is a brand that begs to worn head-to-toe, if only because it will mercilessly show up whatever else you choose to pair it with. I, for one, would be happy to oblige.
Fashion events attract a lot of really miserable people, in addition to a lot of really boring clothing. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I truly, truly hate it. So it’s doubly nice when you find lovely clothes that are made by lovely people.
Deborah is one of those people. In a world that’s still very much dominated by high-profile, multi-million dollar labels and a hungry machine that has very little interest in anything aside from the bottom line, it can be hard to forget that there are still folks behind the glitz who devote themselves to creating beautiful objects. Make no mistake - they are working very hard at it. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have had an experience like this; to slow down, speak to a real human about a very human project, and ultimately find some time to enjoy the product.
The biggest difficulty is finding it. Currently, there are no US stockists, though my hope is that we can help to change that - and the clothing comes at a high price. But De Bonne Facture is a young brand, and I would encourage all of you to give some attention to young brands. They’re the future, and if Deborah’s work is any indication, the future is bright.
See all of our photos below
Deborah shows off the basket-weave coach jacket
An exquisite suede bomber
Need we say more?
Details of the herringbone coat fabric
The flannel shirts are stunning
A brilliantly easy shearling jacket
Every-day pieces taken to new highs
A casual blazer in a speckled navy wool
Details of the coach jacket, showing off the lining
The coach jacket in navy
The classic shirt in fine Japanese cotton
A Breton knit in a beautiful sea-green blended wool, finished with antique buttons
Ties and leather accessories
An idyllic spot for a showroom - could it get better than this?
Déborah shows off the herringbone coat