The Select Guest
MEET | CHRIS BENZ
Featured 3.11-3.17 | While we may not consider ourselves a source for breaking news, we’ve got something hot off the press for you this week: Chris Benz, who has always had his feet firmly planted in the fashion world (his resume reads like the front row at Paris Fashion Week: Marc Jacobs, CFDA awards, designer of an eponymous line of ready-to-wear, Creative Director at Bill Blass, features in Vogue, Vanity Fair, WWD — the list goes on. And on), is coming home. That’s right, the aptly named Prince of Color (stick around all week to see how he colorful he truly is), who cut his teeth as a womenswear designer at J. Crew under Mickey Drexler in 2005, has just been named Senior Vice President of Women’s + Children’s Design for the brand. Read that last line again. And if that’s not the most exciting news we’ve ever delivered, then we don’t know what is, because what it means is that Benz will have a very large platform from which to make the world a much more vibrant place. But that’s not where the story of this creative powerhouse ends. Not by a longshot. Whether he’s designing carefree interiors (his house is everything), creating eye catching wallpapers (he was tapped by Select Guest alum Nathan Turner to create some pretty spectacular papers for Wallshoppe) or designing the hell out of women’s clothing, Chris Benz is a ray of human sunshine and he’s everything we need right now. Welcome to Chris’ week.
more about chris
Chris Benz' aesthetic is one of colorful, eccentric American style. Often referred to as The Prince of Color, Chris formulates design solutions by infusing traditional elements with a carefree spirit of surprise.
In February 2007, Chris presented his first eponymous ready-to-wear collection to high acclaim during New York Fashion Week, and has since expanded his design vision into interiors, beauty, timepieces, toys, social media, film and television.
Chris has been featured extensively in such publications as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, and international editions of Marie Claire, Glamour, InStyle. Outside the fashion world, Benz has been featured extensively in the media in both television and online, notably on HBO’s How To Make It In America, E’s Fashion Police, and Bravo’s Styled To Rock, produced by Rihanna. His irreverent, approachable personality has garnered an international social media audience of over 200,000 followers.
Chris grew up in the Pacific Northwest, before arriving in Manhattan to study at Parsons School of Design. He graduated in 2004, after winning the prestigious CFDA Emerging Designer Award while working under Marc Jacobs. Following graduation, Chris joined the dynamic J. Crew team as a womenswear designer under Mickey Drexler, helping establish the Special Occasion and Collection lines.
Over the past decade, Chris has designed for both his own women's ready-to-wear collection, as well as with some of the most esteemed brands and celebrities in the world, refining their vision through both collaborative innovation, commissions, and creative consultation for both the fashion and interior design.
In 2014, Chris assumed the role of Creative Director at Bill Blass, the American design house founded in 1970 by it's eponymous designer Bill Blass.
In 2019, Chris was named Senior Vice President of Women’s + Children’s Design at J. Crew.