Designer Celine Benz’s label, C.Bonz, puts a personalized spin on everything from sweatsuits to Chanel bags.Her embroidered pieces are made to order in Malibu and have quickly amassed an A-list following — particularly her pullovers stitched with custom pet portraits.
“The Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco recently posed in a sweatshirt embroidered with two of her dogs, Moose and Dumpy, while soap star Lindsay J. Price’s version similarly features her pair of pups, Webster and Sam.
“Titans” actress Conor Leslie, meanwhile, has a top featuring her dog, Roo —he’s even wearing an ascot! — and Busy Phillips’ is personalized with the furry face of her Goldendoodle, Gina.
Zosia Mamet of “Girls” fame is also a fan, and recently partnered with Benz on a collection to benefit Ukraine.After “some trial and error,” she started wearing her designs in public, and people always asked about them. So Benz decided to launch a luxury lifestyle brand “focused on comfort, customization and sustainability,” inspired by seeing how much joy her pet portraits brought people.
She started with pop-ups with local shops, and then opened a permanent customization station at celebrity favorite Fred Segal. It was there that she connected with Hollywood-loved label Staud, and began working with designer Sarah Staudinger to create custom embroidered bags and sweats. She’s been busy ever since.
One of the first handbags she ever embroidered was for Hilary Duff during a live pop-up with a crowd. She was “beyond nervous,” she recalls, because she had only embroidered one of her own Louis Vuitton bags before.
Luckily, she “didn’t destroy her bag,” and she and Duff became friends.When Benz works with a celebrity on a likeness, she says she “makes the experience about them and their pet, working directly to create an intimate environment that ensures privacy.”
Continues the designer, “Usually they share stories and photos of their pet and I do my best to understand the essence of their pet’s personality. My favorite part of the experience is seeing their reaction to the completed piece and them wearing it.”
While she never pays famous customers to post Instagram photos or pose for paparazzi with her product, she’s always delighted when they do so anyway.“It’s pretty crazy how much it helps my small business and gets the word out,” she says.Next time you see a celebrity wearing their pet on their sleeve — or, more likely, over their heart — you’ll know exactly who’s behind the dog-themed design.