Kelly Killoren Bensimon has truly turned her stint on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City into a vehicle for fashion and philanthropy. This former model turned accessories editor for Elle magazine divorced her ex-husband, the renowned Gilles Bensimon in 2007 and has been spreading her wings on her own two feet ever since. Bensimon is already an accomplished author and jewelry designer, but that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to charge onwards full speed ahead! Kelly is about to launch her 4th jewelry line and is expecting her sure-to-be-best-selling book I Can Make You Hot hits the presses in 2012. Of course, this Real Housewife has heart and tempers her exciting business ventures with a touch of charity. Proceeds from her latest book are slated to benefit generosity water, which aims to bring clean drinking water wherever it is needed across the globe. Bensimon is also an avid advocate for Animal Rescue, a fact that makes Lucky’s tail wag with great verve! And through it all, family obviously plays a huge part in Kelly’s life as she nurtures what she calls her foursome – two daughters and two dogs – with affection. She considers her pups the ultimate luxury because of the love they return unconditionally.
An impromptu Valentine’s Day gift from Kelly to daughters Sea and Teddy, Fluffy became a Bensimon on a whim. “We were walking down the street … and they saw the sign ‘Puppies’ and you can’t really just show a child a sign that says ‘Puppies’ and then take them away from that,” Bensimon recounts. The girls were smitten, named the Havanese after her appearance and a doggie diva was born.
Not to be outdone, Bear has his own backstory. A descendant of a fine English line of blue bloods, the Jack Russell is small in stature, but big on attitude. Traveling wherever Bensimon does, he demands to do so sans leash. “He’s like, ‘Leash? I have no boundaries!’” says Bensimon. And his star quality? “A Bond man,” she says, “because he’s always around the ladies.” Fluffy is a young Joan Collins.
Big personalities for dogs? Maybe, but Bensimon believes dogs are reflective of their parents. Of her co-stars, she says, Jill Zarin is like a Labrador, “always friendly, always nice, always ready to play. Loyal.” And Countess Luann deLesseps? A chic, elegant dog; perhaps a Greyhound. Ramona Singer reminds Bensimon of a Havanese-Westie-Jack Russell mix because her dog personality says, “Let’s go, I’m ready! If it’s good, bad or ugly, I’m ready.”
Speaking of readiness, Bensimon’s dogs are always ready to go in a flash. “We don’t decorate our dogs … No fashion,” says Bensimon. “No bows. No nail polish.” But where are they headed? “My dogs are my family … I just take them to the beach.”