Many know Kelly Killoren Bensimon '98GS as an author, trendsetter, model, and break out star on Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City. Kelly has made a career reporting on fashion and style with her own insights gleaned from years spent in the fashion industry. With a refreshingly modern sensibility, Kelly translates trends and contemporary culture for the public, with a unique take that is fresh, playful, and accessible.
Born and raised in Rockford, IL, Kelly became a model at age 15 and moved east where she began studying at Trinity College. She then transferred to New York to finish her BA at Columbia University's School of General Studies, graduating in 1998. As a student at Columbia, Kelly was "flying around modeling, writing papers in airports, and studying in hotel rooms." She says, "I was fortunate to have a writing professor named Professor Zielger who encouraged me to start writing about my life: where I went, what I did, and what my impressions were. No filter. Just write." (Read full article, "Highs and Lows," Bravo TV here.) After Columbia, Kelly began writing for Hamptons Magazine.
Kelly continues to write and this summer debuts her new novel A Dangerous Age, which chronicles the adventures of four best friends during one Manhattan summer as they try to keep it all together when their lives threaten to fall apart.
About A Dangerous Age
It's the dog days of a sweltering Manhattan summer, and four sophisticated best friends who once took New York by storm are secretly falling apart at the seams. Lucy's marriage to the notoriously temperamental artist Titus Brockton threatens to unravel due to a closely guarded secret. Sarah's audition for a new television show wreaks havoc on her wedding plans and her social status. Billy has partly succeeded in reinventing her career as a culinary artist, but she faces bleak prospects in the world of online dating. And then there's Lotta, a reckless habitué of the city art scene and its high-flying clubs, who seems destined for a hard fall, or a last-ditch intervention. As Lucy, Sarah, Billy, and Lotta share their trials and triumphs over the course of their weekly Tuesday gatherings, they must reckon with what it means to be fortysomething in the city that never sleeps.
In this addicting and refreshing comedy of manners, reminiscent of Edith Wharton, Lucy, Sarah, Billy, and Lotta go to all ends to hide their troubles in a city that worships only the young, twenty-something it-girl. But in the end, there's no denying that these women have all entered a very dangerous age...and who knows how they'll emerge on the other side.
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More about Kelly Killoren Bensimon
The New York Times counts her as one of the "most fabulous tastemakers." She is a noted author, trendsetter, model, and influential Editor of Elle Accessories. Kelly began writing for Hamptons Magazine after graduating from Columbia University. While there, she was responsible for two successful columns, "In the Spirit of the Hamptons" and "Most Wanted." Her column initiated the "In The Spirit Of..." series for influential publishing house, Assouline. The Spirit of The Hamptons (2001) remains one of the company's top selling titles. She helped Niche Media create and launch Gotham Magazine in 2001.
Kelly's titles include: American Style (2004), The Bikini Book (2006), In The Spirit of the Hamptons I (2001), and In The Spirit of the Hamptons II (2013) with Assouline Publishing, and I Can Make You Hot (2011) with St. Martin's Publishing. Kelly's latest book and her first novel, A Dangerous Age, was released in June 2016 through Simon & Schuster. Kelly has also appeared as a break out star on Bravo TV's The Real Housewives of New York City, from Seasons 2-5. Additional television appearances include The Singles Project, Hunting Season, and the movie, Innocence.
KKBLoves.com was launched in 2015 to share musings in the world of travel, beauty, wellness, and fashion. Kelly is the celebrity ambassador for Generosity Water and sits on the Directors Council for Food Bank for NYC. She also supports the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A portion of the proceeds for her book, American Style (2004) were directed to the Costume Institute. In May 2016, Kelly's jewelry collection, KELLY KILLOREN Fashion Jewelry, was launched on HSN.
Kelly is an avid equestrian who raises her two teenage daughters and dog, Fluffy, in New York City.
A version of this interview originally appeared on the CAA Arts Access website. To view more stories like this and to become a member, click here.