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Chris Benz on His New eBay Collab, Tattoos, Shopping in his Undies, and (Not) Working with Lena Denham

Last week we told you about eBay’s Holiday Collective, in which the online giant tapped Billy Reid, Chris Benz, Fallon, Jonathan Adler, Ruffian, Ste
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Last week we told you about eBay’s Holiday Collective, in which the online giant tapped Billy Reid, Chris Benz, Fallon, Jonathan Adler, Ruffian, Steven Alan and Tibi to design small collections of gifts between $50-$100. We admit we were intrigued to see what such a diverse group of designers would come up with, especially given the price range.

So, yesterday we went to check out the range, which includes over 40 gifts in the form of jewelry, accessories and homewares. Even though the collective doesn’t go live until November 12, it really got us in the gifting spirit. We compiled a wishlist of a few of our favorites (hint, hint), and were relieved to see quite a few good gifts for guys in the mix--dudes are always so hard to shop for.

We also caught up with our favorite pink haired man, Chris Benz. We were eager to ask the self-proclaimed eBay expert for some background on the range and tips for trolling the massive site. We also confronted him about a certain Instagram picture he took of Lena Dunham, which lead us to wonder whether the designer would be collaborating with the girl-of-the-moment any time soon. Read on to find out.

Fashionista: Tell us about the concept behind your range for eBay holiday collective. Chris Benz: We wanted to develop it as a little capsule with a theme. I travel so much for work that travel was a great place to start, so we thought about our favorite things to travel with. We came up with men's and women’s silk pajamas with a little pouch you can throw them in. We did some cashmere including a scarf and a t-shirt with my signature embroidery on the side. I actually have that same signature tattooed in the exact same place on my side! There are also canvas zip pouches to throw whatever in--jewelry, pens, make-up--and little boxes of stationary with our print on it.

What kind of a relationship do you have with eBay? I’ve always been a huge eBay shopper. I buy everything. I loved that old campaign they had, “Whatever it is, you can get it on eBay”. It’s so true; you can find whatever there. I’ll be walking down the street and see something cool, and I’ll run home and look it up on eBay.

Do you have a search technique? Sometimes I look for really specific things, but other times it’s a Sunday morning and I sit on the couch with my laptop and type in women’s vintage or simply Elizabethan, and then get involved in a crazy web and waste hours and hours.

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Do you think malls will be phased out when it comes to holiday shopping? There’s still something special about retail and going to the store and trying it on. It’s a whole experience. But there’s also something appealing about shopping from your couch in your underwear. Oh, and I love getting things in the mail.

What kind of gifts do you like to give? I have actually always shopped on eBay for presents because I always like giving unique gifts. You can find things like vintage silver serving spoons or amazing vintage stationary from old hotels, even vintage paper napkins.

What’s the best present you’ve ever given? I am really into giving memento mori jewelry. It’s from the 1800’s and mostly from the UK. They are tiny skull rings that have lots of little chipped diamonds and they are fairly rare.

What’s the best one you’ve ever received? A good friend of mine gave me a beat up, old travel bag, kind of a pre-Birkin Birkin bag. It is amazing and weighs like 100 pounds empty. And I actually happen to know it came from eBay!

And last, please explain the Instagram you posted of Lena Denham. Are you working with her on a project? I did it just randomly! Lena Instagrammed herself behind a curtain that reminded me of the theme from our show, so I Instagrammed it back. I didn’t think anything of it; hardly anybody even commented. But I am a fan of Girls and Lena, who I met at the MET Ball.

Wow, conspiracy solved. So how would you feel about working with Lena, maybe her modeling your next range? I would die! I would just love it.

We would die too! Click through to check out our eBay Holiday Collective wishlist.