Between a burgeoning real estate career, a slew of successful books, and keeping her toes in the fashion scene, Kelly Killoren Bensimon is wearing multiple hats these days. Her latest project is creating a capsule collection of outerwear with Pologeorgis. The EnVille X Pologeorgis collection features 20 everyday Fall pieces available online this month. We recently checked in with the former Real Housewife to get the scoop on the line.
Tell us how EnVille came about.
I took the way of being en ville [the French phrase meaning the person is in the city] to this new and modern way of dressing, which is a local lifestyle. One of my sweatshirts can be worn in New York, Aspen, on the plane to Florida, I’m wearing these clothes everywhere I’m going because they suit my actual every day lifestyle.
When did you start working on this?
A year ago. The genesis of the collection was when I wanted to redo one of my mom’s fur coats and I met Pologeorgis through Jill Stuart. I had a pair of slippers that I wanted to redo them and make them interesting. I started selling them on my story on Instagram and realized people were really responding to my elevated luxurious low-key lifestyle. Pologeorgis realized we were doing so well and asked if I wanted to do a collaboration with them. One thing about Pologeorgis is their high quality and it’s also a trusted brand, which was really important to me. I didn’t want to just slap my name on anything. I wanted my name to be associated with a brand that I trusted.
What are some of the key pieces in the collection?
My client is really interested in shearling so I made a lot of shearling. One [key piece] is my salmon jacket, The Melinda, which is doing really well. It’s more of a dusty pink color. It goes great with denim or gray. I’m wearing it with a denim shirt and a sequin skirt. I don’t care what anybody says about the way that I dress. If you say I can’t wear sequins, I’ll wear it. Tell me yes or no and I’ll do it. The reason this jacket resonates with people is you can wear it out with your boyfriend or with your friends having brunch or you can wear it in the Hamptons with a straw hat.
The outwear in the collection can be worn with sweaters or sequins and that’s really my vibe. The Eden, which is a motorcycle look is never going away. I paired it with a long sexy dress and Glen Bradford jewelry. People like that vibe because it’s very sophisticated but very low-key.
Let’s talk about the accessories.
Glen Bradford is a great family friend and I was intrigued by his jewelry this summer. There are a lot of parallels to EnVille such as diamonds and turquoise. It’s very rooted in luxury but also heritage. I think people like the way I dress is because it has a very old guard vibe to it with a modern twist. I’m a storyteller.
What was the creative process like?
I’m an editor. My job is to edit and say I like that or I like that. I don’t sketch. If you saw my sketches, you’d be like, “What is that?” I’m very transparent about being able to work with the best. That’s one thing that separates me from a lot of people working in collaborations. I seek out the best of the best. When I was talking about doing an outwear collection Pologeorgis was a natural progression. They are the best at what they do. They work with people like Zac Posen and Barneys so they understand my high end aesthetic with my low key lifestyle.
Is the collection only available online?
Right now it’s direct to consumer. You can buy it through my Instagram and we are working with some small stores. I’m waiting to do things in the right way. I’m a very strategic person. Everyone sees me on television and thinks, “She’s wild!” But in business, I am the complete opposite. I’m very thoughtful about the things that I do. The great thing about working in the capsule collection market is that I can be really truthful and honest with my clients. They are DMing me asking for advice about what jacket they should get. For me, it’s smart to start small. I’m very passionate about it.
You have your hands in a lot of things!
I am the luckiest person in the world. I get to work with the most amazing people. I’m working with The Holly Parker Team at Douglas Elliman. They sold over $8 billion last year. I’m always watching and waiting. I also have to give a big clap to my publisher, Hachette. I’m very lucky!