Anyone who’s even spent a chunk of time with designer Chris Benz knows he is an eBay addict. His studio, for example, is packed with an amazing array of vintage furniture pieces and quirky knick-knacks (including massive old film studio lights to old prints) — all of which he sourced through eBay himself.
As such, it was a special kind of victory (both for the designer and the e-commerce platform) when eBay tapped Benz to create one of its special holiday collections. At the preview for the new line last week, Benz was kind enough to share the inspiration for his collection, as well as the items currently on his eBay wish list.
StyleCaster News: How did you get involved in doing a collection for eBay?
Chris Benz: eBay reached out to me, and I’m obsessed with eBay. I have been for ever. So of course when they reached out, I was like, “Obviously.” In my own mind, I feel like I’ve always had a relationship with eBay. So just the prospect of doing a little gift collection was so great because it’s different than what I do all day long every day.
As we developed it, we thought it should be travel things — essentials to make travel more fun and easier and more comfortable … We did men’s and women’s silk pajama, which are so cute. I feel like people would wear the tops as a top anyway, which is my hope. Then we made a cashmere T-shirt with my signature printed on it and stationary — you can write love notes to people with our print on it! And little zippered pouches because I like things to put little things into pouches, especially when you’re traveling — iPod cords and all those weird things you need.
Since the collection centers around travel, and since you’ve been doing so much traveling, what are your can’t-leave-the-house-without items? How do you pack?
I like to wear all my clothes wrinkle-y anyway so there’s no folding! I feel like I remember reading a story about Tonne Goodman, who has the perfect travel wardrobe always: three black turtlenecks, one pair of skinny jeans, one pair of black pants, one pair of chinos, and a white trenchcoat. You can make 100 outfits from these 6 things that she travels with. I’m not that person. I just shove — I grab five T-shirts, five shirts, pants, and a sequined shoe and weird things … For me, [you want to pack] things like a cashmere T-shirt and silk pajamas — all those things that people wouldn’t necessarily use at home as much as when you’re swanning around your hotel room somewhere.
As an eBay aficionado, what are some of your saved searches? What are you looking for right now?
Vintage Lilly Pulitzer men’s. Anything that has to do with my high school, like old high school yearbooks for my high school. Belgian shoes, love! Stuff from our collection — sometimes we might sell a sample and then we don’t have a sample anymore, so we buy the production version of it. Also a million Hermes things, like vintage Hermes. I just like to look. Paul McCobb furniture is fabulous. Just great mid-century [stuff]. Nymphenburg ceramic figurines. So strange, but so cute! [Look at this] porcelain dachshund figurine. So cute! Who doesn’t want that? The studio gets smaller by the day.