10/25/2011 10:47 am ET | Updated Dec 25, 2011

A Conversation With Designer Chris Benz


The young fashion designer Chris Benz recently had a cameo on the hit show Gossip Girl. It was only apt that he guest starred in the series because his designs are the kind of clothes that attract the Blair Waldorfs and Serena van der Woodsens of the world -- "reckless preppy" party girls who ooze unique personal style.

Chris Benz is a genius at mixing unlikely color combinations and prints. His spring 2012 collection is filled with dresses and separates in the most delicious shades and exuberant flower prints.

He was born and raised in Seattle and he moved to New York to study at Parsons. After graduating, he worked at J. Crew before launching his eponymous label in 2007. The CFDA inducted him into the group in 2009.

Below, Chris Benz shares his nighttime read and the soundtrack of his life and ponders the need for a wedge flip flop.

When I wake up... I instantly wonder if it's Saturday.

Before I go to bed... I read the New York Post.

A well-dressed man/woman... is wearing a smile and a navy blazer.

Women should always... be outrageous!

Men should never... be afraid of pink.

The best thing that's been said about me... that my sense of humor is killer.

The biggest misconception about me... hoping there aren't any!

If I weren't doing what I'm doing today... I would be completely bored, but hopefully poolside someplace exotic.

My legacy... is fun, colorful sportswear -- American eccentricity.

A great idea... is always the simplest one.

Botox is... tempting.

My mother... always knows how to inspire.

The soundtrack of my life... Fleetwood Mac.

The future... is now! What are you waiting for?!

Happiness... is being busy.

There's a time and place for... a wedge flip flop? I'm asking ...

There is too much... noise.

In the end... doing what you love wins out!

Read more about Chris Benz and his essentials HERE.

Photographs courtesy of Chris Benz