Kelly Killoren Bensimon is an American Lifestyle Icon. The New York Times counts her as one of the "most fabulous tastemakers,” but millions know her as a noted author, model, tv personality, influential editor, and now, real estate phenom. Kelly has made a successful career of editing fashion, style & lifestyle publications with her own insights gathered from years in the fashion, entertainment, and real estate industry. Known for her refreshingly modern sensibility, Kelly translates trends & contemporary culture for the public with her unique take; one that is fresh, playful, and always accessible.
Born and raised in Rockford, Illinois, Kelly became a model at age fifteen, gracing the pages (and covers) of publications like ELLE, Shape, Playboy, and many other fashionable titles around the globe. She moved to the East Coast to study at Trinity College and later transferred to Columbia University in New York, earning a degree in 1998. She later attended Northeastern for her MBA and was accepted to NYU STERN for her Executive MBA in real estate and fashion.
After college, Kelly began writing lifestyle features for HAMPTONS Magazine, the tony glossy that chronicles the rich and famous on the east end of Long Island. Her column was the genesis for her first coffee table book with fashionable publishing house, Assouline. In the Spirit of The Hamptons (2001) remains one of the top selling titles for the publisher with a second edition published in 2013. She continued with Niche Media, then publisher of HAMPTONS, as the Fashion and Accessories director for a new title GOTHAM, that launched in 2001.
In 2005, Kelly became editor of ELLE Accessories, a companion title to the leading fashion book ELLE, all while continuing her social anthology series of books for Assouline that included American Style (2004) and The Bikini Book (2006). She followed with I Can Make You Hot (2011) for St. Martin's Publishing and in June of 2016 released the novel A Dangerous Age, followed by its sequel, The Second Course in 2017 for Simon & Schuster.
In 2009, Kelly hit the reality streets running as a cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City for three seasons, introducing her world to a national tv audience.
In recent years, Kelly’s passion for luxury real estate has led to a well-publicized career turn with takes at Warburg Realty and now as a leading realtor with Douglas Elliman, where she has sold over $100 million in luxury properties in 2021 alone. Her expertise and access have led to exclusive listings in NYC, the Hamptons, South Florida, Aspen, St. Barth, and now, London and Paris. Her impressive ascent in the real estate world earned her a 2022 Ellie Award for Rookie of the Year from Douglas Elliman for excellence in the field. Kelly provides an insiders take on where to find the best shopping, dining, drinking, and entertaining in the most exclusive neighborhoods around the globe. As a result, Kelly has appeared on Bravo’s hit show Million Dollar Listing and the new Discovery+ popular series, Selling the Hamptons. She is also currently at work on a new coffee table book that combines two of her passions, fashion and luxury real estate.
In spite of her busy schedule, philanthropy has always been paramount to Kelly’s DNA. She is the celebrity ambassador for Generosity Water, and also sits on the Directors Council for Food Bank for NYC. She is proud to support the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a portion of the proceeds for her book, American Style (2004) were directed to support the Costume Institute. She is also an advocate for Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams, and Animal Haven, a nonprofit organization finding homes for abandoned pets in the tri-state area.
Kelly is an avid equestrian, wellness advocate, and single mother raising her two daughters, Sea and Teddy, along with their dogs, Fluffy and Tarzan, in New York City.