Kelly Killoren Bensimon
There is not much that former New York City Real Housewife Kelly Killoren Bensimon hasn't accomplished. You never know what to expect next. We asked her about her new project and life after the show.
You are a mother, real estate agent, model, author, equestrian, former TV personality, and now fashion designer. Why did you get back into fashion?
I have always been so intrigued by style after writing "American Style" for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute. I learned through writing this anthology that style comes from the life you live. I started working with Pologeorgis last Fall after I was introduced by my close friend designer Jill Stuart. I wanted to cover sandals in fur. So, I asked Pologeorgis who did such an incredible job that I put them on my Instagram and took them to my daughter's school for her holiday fair. I sold three pairs even before I arrived to the school and continued selling through Instagram direct message. It was after this instant success that I worked on my first capsule collection with Pologeorgis, which I am thrilled about!
How would you describe your collaboration with Pologeorgis?
It’s an honor to work with such incredible people. Many of the garments are made by hand in New York City, and their attention to detail, design, and love of fashion is intoxicating. I have had such an incredible experience, and met so many incredible designers and people through the process.
Fur is a really hot subject right now. What’s your view on real vs. faux fur?
I wear both real and faux fur. While I recognize the hot button issues associated with wearing fur, I am from the ice cold Midwest and grew up wearing fur to stay warm. Everyone is entitled to making their own choices.
What’s life like as a former Real Housewife of New York City?
I have always maintained my private life even while I filmed RHONY for three seasons. The fan base from the show has been so amazing and supportive of all my endeavors from my jewelry lines on HSN, two novels with Simon and Schuster "A Dangerous Age" and "The Second Course", to my work with Warburg Realty. I am proud to say I have a really incredible and savvy international fan base. It’s because of my amazing fans that I am able to raise my two girls alone and am so proud that they are off to college. RHONY opened my life up to new possibilities, and I’m forever grateful for that. I would never be doing what I’m doing today, or have been able to raise my girls alone without the show.
If there is one piece from this collection that everyone needs in their fashion wardrobe, what would it be and why?
I’m obsessed with the pea coat. I love that Jackie Kennedy Onassis Park Avenue image of her in a peacoat and wide leg jeans. I always admired her effortless style during her Onassis years. I also love the camouflage coat. The epic collar juxtaposed with the camouflage outerwear is cool and transitional.
Check out her new collection En Ville X Pologeorgis at our East Hampton store Saturday, August, 4 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.