as a visual merchandiser for Victoria's Secret, then taking the reigns
as lead stylist and sales for Men's wear at Internationally known
vintage retailer, What Goes Around Comes
Around, he has rapidly become one of the most in-demand creators in New
York City's cut throat underground fashion scene. Mastering the art of
taking existing pieces (predominantly rock tees and leather goods) and
redesigning, distressing and reviving 'the old' by giving them a new
life, a second story, and definitely some amazing, one of a kind
touches, is what stands him out from the rest - Catering to the likes of
Brandon Flowers, Mila Kunis, Jakob Dylan, Brad Pitt, Taylor Swift,
Donatella Versace and many others and receiving countless editorial
features and stylings both domestically and overseas.
his growing global following, loyal instagram (@christianbenner) and facebook fans, as
well as the authentic appeal of his pure grass roots marketing campaign
that's taken on a life all of it's own, it is only a matter of time
before you're reading full page interviews about the man behind the
vision and not just in the fine print of the spreads.
is a conversation I had with him in The East
Village of NYC about fashion, celebrities, and how S&G and a
Christian Benner collaboration will come to fruition in the nearer of
With all of the artists out there and upcycling of pieces, why do you feel as though people are so drawn to your work?
treating each of my pieces as a one of kind piece, something almost
catered for that individual who is purchasing. When I have clients
inquiring about pieces, I actually like to take a few minutes and
actually get to know that person, their lifestyle, and their overall
vibe, so I can create a piece specifically for them. I want someone to
stop them on the street, and ask them, "hey where did you get that, I
must have it for myself"
The fashion world is a daily changing arena. How do you stay relevant?
I create my pieces, I
look at the before and after product, and imagine them 10 years from
now, and how they will subside in that time period. Im taking such a
unique, one of a kind piece, and making it relevant for almost any time
period. I envision taking
a classic beat up rock and roll t-shirt, and turning it into high
fashion. My goal is to create a customer who has a few of my pieces in
their closet as their staple pieces that they can pair with almost
From my knowledge of what you're creating, it seems like this path chose you rather than you choosing "it". Comments?
pretty wild how it all started. I would always go out shopping for
myself, and could never find anything. I was always against the main
stream, and purchasing items that someone else could poetentially own.
So finally, I took it upon myself, to start buying pieces, and
transforming them myself. I started wearing them around, and immediatly
people would ask me where I got them. At this point, people were giving
me their own shirts, boots, and jackets for me to alter, and turn them
into their own individual piece. Literally in my first week of
doing this, Kristin Wigg came in, and fell in love with one of my
custom t shirts,
that was one of my personal shirts.
What is the ultimate goal you have for your upcoming line?
want to turn the name Christian Benner into a brand. I want people to
be curious with what I am going to do next...I get really inspired by
certain types of music, art, or indiviuals, and go through phases, which
works incredible for when I am creating. I use this pallet, and create
around it, allowing me to come up with, and produce different material
Many 'creators' are very connected to their work. How
deep do your emotions to a garment run? What attracts you to a piece?
am inside my head 23 hours out of the day. When Im creating, I am
usually by myself, which allows me to do my thinking. I can look at the
final product, and remember what exactly was going through my head at
that certain moment when I made that particular piece. And the fact
that someone is going to own this certain piece, is basically having
them own a certain part
of me, is extremely satisfying.
When people you don't know contact you and praise your work, how does that feel?
Beyond rewarding. It means they were intrigued somehow by what I was doing, and felt they needed to see more.
What are your plans with S&G?
with an established brand is a great oppurtunity for me. They already
have their vision, so I feel I can come in and work off of what they are
already doing. Take their work, and give it my touch, in a sense. I
work extremely well with other creative types, so I am extremely excited
about what the future holds for us, and what we can come up with.