Bill Blass may be the next big thing in high-fashion but relatively-affordable clothes, and it’s thanks to Seattle native Chris Benz.

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Move over Kate Spade and Michael Kors, Bill Blass may be the next big thing in high-fashion but relatively-affordable clothes. And it’s thanks to Seattle native Chris Benz, the new creative director of the venerable line.

Benz’s complete revamp of the label debuted this month at billblass.com, where it is now exclusively available. The line includes relaxed but highly feminine separates, as well as bags, shoes and accessories.

Ruffles, sequins, stripes and bold colors abound, lending the line a youthful feel. Pieces are slouchy, from boxy sweaters to wide-leg pants, but refined in material, favoring linen, cashmere and silk. Pockets are designed to hold oversized cellphones.

Benz attended Parsons School of Design in New York, worked for Marc Jacobs and J.Crew, and launched his own collection in 2007, which was highly regarded. It’s now on hold as Benz leads Bill Blass into the next era.

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