Photo Credit: PatrickMcMullan. Dress (Chic layering piece) Kelly dons Rachel Roy at RH Contemporary Art's Opening
Kelly Killoren Bensimon — model, fashionista and author of “The Supermodel Diet: I Can Make You Hot!” — dishes out style advice to amNewYork’s readers.
I like to wear dresses, but have foot problems that require me to wear sneaker-like lace-ups. Any advice on how people with foot issues can finesse dresses?
I love vintage floral dresses with pretty and lacy half socks and low pumps or lace-up flats.Hogan makes great lace-up patent leather loafers. For lace-up boots, Sam Edelmanmakes cute ones, or wear a comfortable pair of Dr. Martens, which are playful and embrace a cool grunge vibe. And remember: Confidence is cooler than your shoe option.
How should we change our skin care routines now that the cold, dry winds of winter have arrived?
The weather is changing and so is our skin. Drink six to eight glasses of water, or even jasmine tea, and load on the moisturizer. I like MAC’s Studio Moisture Cream ($30, at MAC) and La Mer’s ultralight Moisturizing Soft Cream ($155-$285, at department stores). Take care of that face; you only have one.
What are some cool coat and jacket styles for men this season?
Bulky is not better. Uniqlo and Patagonia make great jackets for men that are lightweight but provide warmth. Simple is better for men.
I’m always trudging around the city in the cold weather but don’t want to wear big, bulky, shapeless pieces. What can I wear that’ll keep me warm but looking cool?
I love menswear-style Chesterfeld coats on women: They are so Old Guard-chic and warm. During this transitional season, I suggest a dress under that coat, as nothing makes a woman feel more like a woman than a dress. Lately, I’ve been wearing dresses by Son Jung Wan and Rachel Roy. Swap your pumps for a pair of sexy booties: A bootie is the new pump.
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Photo Credit: Bre Pettis
Bre Pettis makes things.
Since 2009, the CEO of 3-D printing company MakerBot has been making things — a lot of things. But it wasn’t always easy. From his apartment in Brooklyn, he sold his musical instruments and opened a bootleg cafe to make ends meet.
The former public school teacher wanted to create something unique that embraced the idea that if you can dream it, you can print it. His dream of making things and making them happen is now a reality.
With a new merger with Stratasys, MakerBot has hit a milestone. This American pioneer is making things with his Replicator 2 desktop 3-D printers.
Pettis clued us in to how he made money from being a tinkerer.
You were a public school teacher.
I taught general [education], but loved middle school art: painting, drawing and pottery. I wanted the kids to be able to do anything, even sew a button. I love when young people get hold of the machines.
How did MakerBot start?
I’ve always been a tinkerer. I wanted to give people the tools they need to do whatever they want to make their dream come to life. … I moved to New York seven years ago. In New York, you can’t have a workshop in your home, so I started a clubhouse filled with fantastic tools and a 3-D printer.
What is NYC Resistor?
It’s the clubhouse I started with a friend to make anything.
What’s been a favorite thing to make?
I love drawing with my 2-year-old daughter. And I love working and fixing cars.
You have a car fascination?
I had to work on them because they were broken and they needed to be fixed so I could drive them. My goal is to have a MakerBot racing team.
Why do people fear the age of robots?
Because they don’t have … robot friends.
What was the first thing you made with your 3-D printer?
A shot glass to celebrate.
How long did it take?
What’s your favorite bar?
Pacific Standard [in Park Slope].
Your favorite restaurant?
A Rucola [in Boerum Hill].
Any advice for those with an entrepreneurial spirit?
If you have ideas, [you] just have to try them. … Keep making.
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Photo Credit: Hayati Banastey
Kelly Killoren Bensimon gets the 411 on what makes a shirt cool from Hayati Banastey of JACHS.
Just Another Cheap Shirt (JACHS) is the new vintage American style. Mastermind Hayati Banastey deconstructed the typical button-down shirt and made it cool.
How? He rewashed it and sized it to fit the modern American: chic, cool and lean.
Banastey isn’t afraid of the garment industry and its conventions. In 2008, he made the shirt he wanted, the way he wanted, and the rest is history.
With a store in the West Village and his studio in SoHo, JACHS is taking the retail industry by storm.
Q: What’s different about JACHS?
A: The idea of shirts is what’s different about JACHS. We wash the shirt like a denim company and develop certain washes to go with our shirts. It’s something that doesn’t exist in the market. Each shirt is very unique.
Q: Were you in the shirt business before?
A: My family was in the shirt business. I went to FIT. My family came here 30 years ago and I started in the garment business after graduation. My first job was making shirts. I worked for myself. I’ve never worked for anyone.
Q: What was the shirt company called?
Q: Where are you from?
A: Istanbul, Turkey. In 1979, I left from Turkey to study in Paris. I studied marketing in Paris, so I couldn’t really do what I wanted. So I took time off and I went clubbing and shopping. It was the time when Les Bain Douche had just opened up.
Q: What made you want to come to New York?
A: I saw the movie “Fame,” and I wanted that great life where everyone was dancing on cabs and having a great life. Ever since I moved to New York, I’ve been working in the fashion industry. It’s been 30 years.
Q: What did you study at FIT?
A: I was one of the first graduates from the menswear department. My critic at school was Perry Ellis.
Q: What was the first store you opened?
A: I started a store called Work in Progress and was selling premium denim and related apparel. I was looking at shirts and went to a trade show. I took … 50 JACHS shirts [to the show] and booked $500,000. I thought to myself, “God, I’m in business.” I subleased my store to lululemon and went into wholesale.
Q: Is it better to have your own store or to sell to stores?
A: I sell to Nordstrom, Saks and better stores. In retail, it’s best to have your own store to create a brand and your own image.
Q: What about online?
A: Online retail is amazing. It means that you need to have very well-organized social media in order to get the word out there.
Q: Any advice?
A: Never give up on your dreams. … Never follow money. Do something well and the money will chase you. Same with girls!
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Kelly Killoren Bensimon goes backstage to chat about Kanye and music with Austin Mahone:
Holiday season fever is already here, and with that comes many a teenager’s favorite event: the Z100 Jingle Ball on Dec. 13.
And this year’s lineup is filled with stars, including Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Selena Gomez. This season’s breakout star, Austin Mahone, will also be performing.
The official charity partner for Z100’s Jingle Ball 2013 is the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives. The nonprofit will receive $1 from each ticket sold.
In 2011, Mahone became a YouTube sensation and even opened for Taylor Swift’s “RED” tour.
Mahone — who was feeling ill and hospitalized Thursday according to his rep — spoke to me at the lineup announcement last week at Aeropostale in Times Square, Mahone dished with me while my youngest daughter and her best friend sat by in awe of the 17-year-old star.
Q: What’s your favorite song on your album?
A: “What About Love.”
Q: What’s the necklace you are wearing?
A: Lil Wayne Trukfit diamond necklace.
Q: Who’s your favorite designer?
A: I have a Louis Vuitton backpack and a Gucci belt, but I think Kanye [West] should be a designer.
Q: What are you going to be for Halloween?
A: I’m going to dress up in all black and jump out of a tree and scare kids.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about New York?
A: I love the pizza and Times Square.
Q: What do you wear to perform?
A: I wear jeans, T-shirt and Kanye Easy Ones [beige].
Q: Who’s the coolest person you have met?
A: President Obama.
Q Who would you rather be?
A Mila Kunis and follow myself on Twitter.
Q: Who’s your favorite Z100 DJ?
A: JJ and Elvis [Duran].
Q: What instruments do you play?
A: Drums, guitar, ukulele and piano.
Q: Any advice?
A: Have fun and live with no regrets.
This season, New York women are getting suited up.
From Gwyneth Paltrow to Katie Holmes to Eva Longoria and Leighton Meister, all the hottest girls are covering it up with sleek pantsuits and pantsuit-inspired looks for day and night. Note: If you want to go braless for the evening, pin the jacket from the inside.
Always on the hunt for new inspiration, I scoured boutiques and the Internet for new takes on the suited theme.
NET-A-PORTER.com carries Victoria Beckham’s silk-and-wool cape jacket and a killerStella McCartney tapered jumpsuit. Intermix has great suit trousers, Zara carries a sexy banker-style pinstriped suit and J.Crew makes a shrunken schoolboy blazer this season. YSL has its signature smoking jacket for women.
Some of the hottest accessories to take a suit to another level are skyscraper-high footwear. I’m in love with Paul Andrew’s stacked suede boot and Jimmy Choo’s Faxon peep-toe heel and suede latticework boot. A great handbag (I love YSL’s in simple gray) assures you the respect you deserve.
You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes — and even more about a woman by her bag.
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Photo Credit: Getty "Sheer blouses are a hot trend for fall", says Kelly Killoren Bensimon (shown here)
Kelly Killoren Bensimon -model, fashionista and author of the book “I Can Make You Hot! The Supermodel Diet” — dishes out fall style advice to amNewYork’s readers.
How can I transition some of my favorite summer pieces into fall?
A jean skirt is great way to ease into fall and look chic. I love Calvin Rucker’s this season– the high slit speaks to everyone and is an attention-getter, and the denim is stretch, and sexy with a tank and heels. I also love a jean skirt with a simple cotton shirt from A.P.C. and ballet flats. This European look is easy for picking up the kids or for shopping on a Saturday in the West Village.
The metallic trend is also here to stay. A metallic heel is sophisticated, yet playful, for Sunday brunching in SoHo.
I’m also a huge fan of the leather legging, which can be fun with a cashmere sweater or even a simple white tee and biker jacket.
What items should every woman buy for fall?
This season my go-tos are black trousers by Saint Laurent, a sheer blouse, a faux fur, a floral dress (I like Balenciaga’s), and anything by Wes Gordon – or channel him with a lace nightgown underneath a vintage-inspired wool sweater by the affordable Uniqlo.
I’m also a fan of full shirts and tight sweaters. Show off what you have, but be a lady about it. And while we are talking about being ladies, I’m obsessed with Bally this season. It’s very old-guard chic, and even my kids are trying to steal my bag.
I want to cozy up my apartment for fall. How should I do it?
The best way to make a home look cozy is with lighting. I’m obsessed with Restoration Hardware’s Odeon glass fringe lamps and chandeliers. Crate & Barrel has great upholstered benches to replace those stuffy dining room table chairs.
I also love to frame my children’s art. Or hang a photo you took on the wall. Blow it up and frame it over your bed.
Sidewalk art is always cool. Commission your local artist to make you something unique to you.
Mirrors are a great trick to make a room look bigger. Put one against the wall and see for yourself.
Another idea: Take old cashmere sweaters and make pillows out of them a la Ralph Lauren Home. Or even stack your favorite books on the coffee table. It’s cool to be a little nerdy: Don’t forget to write in the margins.
What colors should I incorporate into my wardrobe for fall?
Black is the biggest color of the season. It is everywhere and makes any look chic. H&M is killing it this season with black capes and jackets, and try J.Crew for tuxedo leggings.
If you want to add color, paint your handbag like you are Stephen Sprouse for Louis Vuitton.
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Photo Credit: Ashley Longshore
Fashion darling/art world darling … Well, actually artist Ashley Longshore is both.
For Chloe’s 60th anniversary party last year, Chloe commissioned a few big artists to create a painting celebrating Chloe at Art Basel. Ashley, of course, was in the mix because of her sensationalistic and larger than life images, which are glitter-filled and charmingly sarcastic.
Longshore is bold and not afraid to poke fun. Her muses range from Kate Middleton to Kate Moss, and she’s not afraid to show them in her own way. Playful yet clever, Longshore is the one to watch. She wants to make a mark on the New York art scene, as long as she can weekend in New Orleans: that’s her Hamptons.
Check out why she’s obsessed with New York and how a sweet Southern girl from Montgomery, Alabama, got all that courage.
How did you get involved with the art world? I’ve always been expressive. At 18, I asked my dad for his Amex, and I bought some drums and an art kit. I took a bong hit and drew a painting of a Grateful Dead acid bear.
Why the bear? I went an all-girls boarding school. I was a rebellious Southern girl. I loved the bear for it was the most dramatic teddy bear I’d ever seen.
What inspired you after the teddy bear? After boarding school, I moved to Montana. I wanted to ride horses and paint. I spent my days painting, riding and jumping horses. I got really deep in Montana … I painted the news and people got upset about it.
How do you describe yourself? Some like to be cool, and some are nerds. I’m comfortable with who I am: wild, colorful and don’t give a f—.
How would you describe your art? I paint with a moment of sensationalism. I paint the way I do and the way I see the world: colorful and comedic. It’s how I’m meant to express my self in the world.
What do you like about New York? I’m not nearly the freakiest person here. I love to be inspired and there is so much to sponge. It’s a place where human interaction inspires me. I love the fashion. It’s amazing to see the people peacocking in New York.
What’s your favorite restaurant in New York? Blue Ribbon Sushi, Il Buco, Catch and Grimaldi’s when I’m hung over. My favorite meal is lunch.
What’s your favorite club? I went to The Box and I saw things I’ve never seen before, like really raunchy. I’d never even attempt to paint it for I couldn’t do it justice.
Any advice? It takes a whole lot of energy to be fearless today. … Be you.
Photo Credit: Elena Kurnosova
No matter what you’ve seen on television, or in movies, the life of a model isn’t easy, and the modeling industry isn’t easy to break into. Not every model is a drug addict or serial actor’s arm candy. Most are young, hardworking girls who take the industry very seriously. This Spring 2014 New York Fashion Week, the city is packed with early-20-somethings looking for that big break or that big show to launch their careers or just pay their rent. Model Elena Kurnosova, 21, is no exception. Without an agent or a visa, Kurnosova came to New York from Moscow a few years ago, landing many big shows (even closing out Betsey Johnson’s show at Fashion Week!) She tells amNewYork the real story behind New York Fashion Week.
How did you get to New York? I was modeling in Europe for Armani, Gucci, Hello Kitty, John Galliano and Valentino. Since I didn’t have any editorial, I went to Mexico to shoot for magazines. I couldn’t come to New York first for I needed to come on my own, and New York agencies won’t bring you here. I was on all the runways, and all the big editors saw me. No one in New York would bring me here. Even in Europe I went to Milan with my mom. Without a visa or good English, I started to model and test [take photos without getting paid] with some photographers. I stole my friends’ castings and got shows like that.
What shows did you do this week?
Betsey Johnson, Joanna Mastroianni, Alice + Olivia, Marc & Estel, Fashion Palette, Rita Vinieris …
What do you wear to castings? I wear shorts, a plain tank top and heels to show my legs and body. I don’t wear makeup.
Do you consider yourself a great runway model? I heard a lot of compliments that I walk good, so I feel I’m a good model.
How much money do you make per show? It depends. Around $2,000 to 5,000 a show.
How many shows do you walk in a day? … Two to three shows a day.
How many shows a day do you walk in Europe? I wasn’t put in the show packages … but I did nine shows this season, and a few seasons ago in Europe, seven to 11 shows.
What’s your favorite thing about New York? The city holds a lot of energy. … New York is the place to get your career to the top.
Do you still see a lot of models do drugs? Some models do drugs, but not the working ones. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs. I work out every single day.
What do you eat for lunch every day? A Cobb salad with shrimp and avocado and juice from Organic Avenue. The CFDA helped all the models get a discount so we’d eat healthy during the week.
What’s the worst thing that happened? The first time I came to New York, I had no friends or agency. … It was good for [me because] I spent a lot of time alone, and I worked on myself. It’s not easy to be alone in New York and struggling.
Where do most models hang out? Lavo, 1 Oak and The Darby.
Any advice? If you want it, you have to work for it. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am today.
Photo Credit: Kelly Bensimon, far right, at Dennis Basso’s February Fashion Show. (Getty)
New York Fashion Week for spring 2014 is here, and the same thing comes to mind every season. I’m eager to wear all my latest and greatest for fall 2013, but it’s still warm out and I’m more excited about next spring. Fashion: can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Which shows am I looking forward to? Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Calvin Klein, Jill Stuart, J.Crew, Clover Canyon, Badgley Mischka, Ralph Lauren, alice + olivia and Dennis Basso. I wish Ralph Lauren’s line Denim and Supply were having a show, but I’ll just have to head to University Place for the coolest fall weekend looks.
As for what I’ll be wearing to the shows, my fall trend must-haves are:
bedazzled collars and accessories, platforms, faux fur, leather anything and menswear suits. Florals are still big and so are plaids. And gold is the new black.
Beauty-wise, I like tousled sexy hair for fall. Leave your brush in the bathroom and amp your hair with Oribe’s texturizing spray. For a sophisticated edge, wrap it in a bun.
For makeup, go for the “no-makeup makeup” look with the help of Tom Ford Beauty. Or amp it up with a hard-core smoky eye. Red lips are in when paired with nudes, not with black, unless it’s Halloween.
And if you want to get super-trendy, bedazzle your hair with a sexy headband or amp up a T-shirt with leather leggings and go biker.