Chris Benz On His Gift-Giving Style, Christmas Traditions, & Love Of eBay

The other day, we took a look at the designer collections for the cool and affordable eBay Holiday Collective, an amazing collaboration that comes on the heels of others with the CFDA and Derek Lam, just to name a few. While we were there, we were lucky enough to catch up with Chris Benz and shoot the breeze.

He gave us a run down of his collection first, which is a line of luxurious travel pieces, all under $100:

Styleite: Your collection is lovely! Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired it?
Chris Benz: Thank you! So obviously we wanted to come up with a little bit of a theme for it, and I do so much travel, it kind of made sense to do a little gift-y thing where everything kind of went back to making travel easier, more luxurious, or whatever. So we did men’s and women’s silk pajamas, with our print as the piping, and also it comes with this little bag that you can put them in, but you can also use it as a little pillowcase for airplane pillows. I just came up with that this morning!

S: Oh, that’s so nice! Airplane pillows are the worst.
CB: I know, exactly. And we did a little cashmere T-shirt with my signature embroidered on it, cashmere wrap, can’t have enough of those! Little zippered pouches in the print, and I mean, I can never have enough of those in my bag too. It’s like iPod cords and all that. And then we did this stationary with the print in the lining of the envelopes and little printed cards so you can sit on the plane and write love notes to people.

S: Was it exciting to do a collection at a different price point than you normally do?
CB: Yeah. No, it was definitely great. And we produce it with the same factories that we normally use for our main collection so the value is really great. And the quality is special for it being a limited quantity.

Then we chatted about the holidays themselves and how he plans to spend Christmas:

S: So the collection’s obviously all about the holidays. Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?
CB: My family usually comes here for the holidays. Which is cool because everyone else goes away, and we can go to any restaurant we want to! And my mom’s birthday is the 23rd of December, so it’s always like birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas, the whole thing. And we always love when it snows.

S: If you were to pick one item from another designer’s collection to give as a Christmas gift, what would it be?
CB: I mean I always go for the classics, like a Chanel camelia pin, or like something that’s sort of timeless that you coud get like that. But I love shopping on eBay actually for the holidays, and I’m not just saying that. I always would do that anyway because I love giving vintage things as presents. Like silver serving things or salt and pepper shakers or, you know, all that kind of stuff. Something sort of special.

Sounds like his friends and family are going to find some awesome goodies under their trees this year! Once it had come out that Chris was an eBay junkie, we had to know what sort of things he likes to bid on:

S: So what’s your favorite eBay purchase that you’ve ever made?
CB: We decorated a lot of the studio and actually my apartment with a lot of stuff from eBay. One of my favorite things are these brass Milo Baughman étagères, a set of two of them, on eBay, and they were just in New Jersey, so the people just drove it right over to my apartment!

S: And if you were to buy something from another designer’s eBay Collective collection, what would it be?
CB: Obviously I’m super-passionate about home too, so I feel like I would scoop up all of Jonathan [Adler]’s home stuff. And also in terms of back-up presents, it’s always good to have things that are non-gender specific. It’s also what I’ve been looking at all day, so I’d say that.

Flip through all the silk, cashmere, and pretty prints in the gallery below! You can also take a look at Tibi‘s line for the eBay Holiday Collective here.


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