Reflecting the easy, breezy, carefree attitude that has come to define American fashion design, Chris Benz simultaneously pays homage to and reimagines classic sportswear through his self-titled womenswear collection. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2004, Benz landed the prestigious CFDA Emerging Designer Award that same year, later joining eminent American house J.Crew as designer of dresses and special-occasion attire. He presented his inaugural ready-to-wear collection in 2007; from the outset, he made a point of introducing a geographically inspired color palette alongside a tomboyish spin on femininity that would become his signature. Taking his Seattle roots as inspiration, Benz blends muted and neutral tones (which call to mind his hometown's famed foggy, gray weather) with unexpected bursts of bright color in layered, progressive silhouettes that signal the label's modern spirit. "My 'girl' is an ageless sophisticate, a reckless preppy who desires nothing more than to keep dancing," Benz notes, explaining that his collection aims to communicate "a sense of perfect imperfection — the elegant tomboy with a feminine touch." Benz's individual take on traditional American style has shaken up sportswear convention, taking it into a youthful and relevant new context.