My name is Jack Berberian and I’m the Creative Director for Bon Choix.
The name is simple. It represents quality and an impeccable attention to detail applied to all of our garments. What we craft, we craft with love. My grandma taught me this.
To know my family business is to know my family history. My grandmother, Mariam Barbar, created the business in Beirut Lebanon. Ravaged by Civil War, it was difficult to lead a family in this city, let alone a fashion house. Little did my grandmother know however, that Bon Choix’s journey had just begun.
Paris was the first stop in The Great Migration of my family. It was here in the City of Lights, where my father and uncle began their studies in pattern making, an art form that would surely come in handy. By 1978, they had gathered their much needed wisdom on the craft and were ready for their next move.
With artists, all roads lead to Los Angeles. The City of Stars can be an artist’s dream or nightmare. My family took the leap and gamble and ventured deep into the entertainment hub of the world. After raising enough capital, we hit a major milestone by opening the first official Bon Choix shop deep in the heart of Beverly Hills. These humble beginnings kicked off in the form of a mere 800 square foot space on Robertson Blvd.
Hoping to expand his experience, my father took a second job at Ted Lapidus on Rodeo Drive, where he got the lay of the land, and studied the needs and standards of his client base. Equipped with his newfound knowledge, he returned to Bon Choix full time and it was around this chapter, where business was about to take an exciting turn. Things would never be the same.
It all started with a client. An eccentric moon walker. A King of Pop whose unique sense drew him to Bon Choix’s unique design sense. Michael’s iconic Red Military Jacket and white single rhinestone encrusted glove was my father’s work and it would go on to inspire the world of fashion to this day.
After we introduced the world to Michael’s revolutionary designs, thus began the Reign of Celebrities. The word was spread. Bon Choix’s name was sealed in rhinestone. The 80’s and 90’s became a gilded age with steady clients such as Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Neil Diamond, Sheena Easton, David Haselhoff, Siegfried & Roy, among others.
Our star-studded client base allowed us to transition full time into the film business on major Hollywood pictures such as Virtuosity and Escape from New York. We put retail behind us and set our sights on fully customized pieces for the silver screen.
When my mother married my father and joined the family business, my grandmother passed down everything she knew to her, shaping her into a specialized dressmaker and designer. My mother combined those skills with those acquired from her technical cybernetics degree. The intersection of these skill sets allowed us to become a powerhouse in haute couture.
With the help of all of us combined and our experience, we’ve been able to land clients such as Disney and Universal Studios, and iconic films such as Iron Man, Spiderman, Kill Bill, and creating items for legends like Dr. Dre, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, Chris Brown, and Rod Stewart.
Where do I come along? Well, I was born in 1998 and have spent the entirety of my life working alongside my parents and grandmother in the business; me being raised in this generation allowed us to adapt to new technology but yet keep our old school ways intact.
In 2015, my grandmother’s memories began to fade as Alzheimer’s claimed her mind. She practically raised me, so watching the disease take hold was devastating. At 90 years old, deep within the cloudy levels of Alzheimer’s, I sat with her and held her hand. I wondered where she was. Did she remember the Great Migration of her family and the thriving business she kicked off? Did she remember me and all of the nights we hung out while my parents worked late? Were all her triumphs a distant dream? She slowly looked at me with a glimmer of nostalgia in her eyes and asked if there were any dresses she could work on. For a fleeting moment, she remembered it all, needless to say I let out more than a few tears. Sadly, a few weeks later, Alzheimer’s would ultimately take her life.
Being raised in an atelier for the entirety of my life made me into who I am today. Since a young age, she shared her rigorous work ethic with me, and when times got rough, she quickly instilled into me that excuses wouldn’t get me anywhere. Alongside her work ethic she shared her passion and dreams of offering prêt-à-porter or ready-to-wear under the Bon Choix house.
Inspiration for me has always come from hard times, it’s when we feel the full force of our emotions. My grandma inspired my vision, and to further her's, the ready-to-wear arm of Bon Choix which had gone silent for 20 years, will be making its resurgence, and with it, I’ll make sure her memory will live on forever.