We ran into one of our fave designers, the pink-tressed Chris Benz (and Parsons alum), last night at the 2012 Parsons Fashion Benefit, which raises scholarships for Parsons students. He was his usual chatty self and was more than happy to dish on his experiences as a student and interning, and his date for the upcoming Met Ball:
Fashionista: You just dressed Barbie for her latest Presidential bid – what female fashion industry notable do you think would have the best shot at the Presidency?
Chris Benz: Fern Mallis, obviously! Because she’s like the queen bee–she’s so fun, and she just got a lifetime achievement award from Pratt last week, and we had to shoot a video with all these designers and fashion people, and when you start to think about it, she really did do so much, and really created a lot of what New York fashion is about. Just in doing that, Presidential nominees do one weird small thing in their local constituency, and then it explodes for the nation.
If you could go to coffee with your Parsons school self, what advice would you give him?:
I feel like the best advice I got myself was keep doing what you love. Fashion moves so quickly and it is such a mercurial business, there’s sort of no time but to do exactly what you want. So, that would be it!
What advice would you give aspiring designers now?
I think knowledge of the industry is the biggest thing. I’m a big proponent of interning and learning as much as you can on someone else’s dime. It was great for me while I was at Parsons. I don’t know how, but GOD finagled my way into an internship with Marc Jacobs, and I learned so, so much while I was at school, and interning as well. And even out of school, I feel like I was really figuring out what part of the industry you want to work in, and going forth and seeing the inner workings.
I am going, and I have no idea what I’m going to wear, but I’m kind of excited to figure that out.
Who are you taking?
I’m going with Julie Macklowe.[Ed note: Macklowe is a socialite who just released a very buzzy line of skin care called vbeauté.] I’m making her a really fun, colorful Chris Benz dress and it’ll be done… tomorrow! wait.. what day is it?
Oh no, it’ll be done by Friday.