Chris Benz Named Creative Director at Bill Blass

The house had its heyday in the '80s, but Benz wants to bring it back for the modern, social savvy woman.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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The house had its heyday in the '80s, but Benz wants to bring it back for the modern, social savvy woman.
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

New York-based designer Chris Benz — whom you may know from his popular Twitter account or his Fashionista column, "Ask Chris Benz" — took the last couple of seasons off from showing his eponymous collection, but his work is about to come back into the spotlight. Benz has been named the creative director at Bill Blass, and will work to reinvent the brand (which hasn't shown a ready-to-wear collection since fall 2012) in order to attract a new generation of social, international customers. According to a press release, Benz's appointment is effective immediately.

Bill Blass has been without a permanent creative lead since Jeffrey Monteiro was let go in the summer of 2012, and the house struggled to keep a designer (or a solid customer base) on board in the years before that, since Blass's retirement in 1999. On Benz's hire, the company's President Stuart M. Goldblatt told WWD, "The whole idea was to bring in an American designer who understands the woman today and who is highly social just as Mr. Blass was." Benz will use his social media savvy to connect with his customers personally, and is focusing on a more modern woman, adding, "as a designer looking to the future, you don’t want to get lost in the archives.”

Appropriately, the new creative director took to Twitter (where he has over 156,000 followers) on Thursday morning to announce his new role. Bill Blass will officially relaunch as a brand in spring 2016, and we can't wait to see what Benz brings to the house.