Lyndie Benson's BLEUSALT

With the launch of new clothing line BLEUSALT, Lyndie Benson sought to capture the essence of our hometown. Now everyone can hang a piece of Malibu in their closet.

Written by Caroline Laganas | Photographed by Lyndie Benson

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Malibu is small in size to begin with – but now it can fit inside of your closet. When Lyndie Benson, a 25-year Malibu resident, received a sweatshirt from her friend as a gift, the real present was the idea Benson formed after feeling the fabric. “I felt the fabric and I thought, ‘I need to make something with this,’” Lyndie Benson said. She came across a similar fabric called Lenzing Modal and thought to herself, ‘This is even better.’ The material is cultivated from sustainable botanic fibers of the beechwood tree. “I found Lenzing and Lenzing does everything right,” Benson said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to make a capsule collection, just a few pieces, between me and a friend.’ Then, it just happened. That’s it.”

Inspired by the ocean, nature and her own wardrobe, Benson launched BLEUSALT, a season-less line of basics made in the USA of exceptionally soft materials. “You want to be comfortable when you’re walking on the beach and hiking and if you’re here in this community, dress is casual,” Benson said. “I still think it’s important to have your style and look the best you can. That’s what I was always trying to achieve, but with cashmere.” Benson’s wardrobe mainly consists of basics, and she said she drew inspiration for BLEUSALT pieces from some of her favorite designers, from The Row to Loro Piana and Bamford. “They’re very beautiful and expensive luxury brands, but when you’re on the beach or in this climate, sometimes cashmere doesn’t feel great,” Benson said. “I think BLEUSALT works well for that.”

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BLEUSALT started in October 2017 founded upon a mission to elevate athleisure wear. “It’s different than wearing sweatpants out because you look elegant doing so,” Benson said. “We’re not really in a category because we’re an elevated luxury athleisure. We’re creating our own category.” The clothing line is also creating a new category of soft. “We have a feel-to-believe campaign and people can get a swatch of this fabric sent to them for free to feel it,” she said. “People say, ‘It’s different from the other soft, it’s softer,’ and then they’ll buy it.”

For Benson, BLEUSALT is all about the fabric. “Once I decided I wanted to do this, I started to go deep into the fabric and now I’m an expert,” she said. “I would never have predicted I’d be working with all this fabric in my life but here it is.”

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But Benson’s not the only one who’s fallen in love with the touch of BLEUSALT’s materials. “A lot of people want their favorite thing in this fabric,” she said. “That’s what the line is for me but other people want that for them. Once you wear [the material], you want everything in it. It’s really the truth. So many people have contacted me saying, ‘I have this dress that I love, is there a way that I could get it made out of that?’”

In addition to her hands-on work with the fabric, Benson shoots all of the photography for the brand herself. “I think with photography, you can take your camera anywhere and be creative at any time,” she said. “All the creativity I ever had goes into it every day and it goes into one place. It’s fulfilling and exciting and the business is doing well and people are loving the product. There hasn’t been very much bad.” Benson says the young company already has a ton of exciting projects in the pipeline, from upcoming distribution in Europe, to a new collaboration with her friend Cindy Crawford on a new Cindy pant. “Every day I’m just flabbergasted,” Benson said. “I’m offered to be in a lot of stores but it’s too soon for me. That’s a different business, it’s not direct-to-consumer. We want to focus on growing naturally.”

At the moment, BLEUSALT is only sold at Ranch at the Pier, where her friends helped a well-attended launch party. Besides this bricks-and-mortar location, BLEUSALT is sold exclusively online. “With direct-to-consumer, you have to keep creating the fire every day,” Benson said. “It’s a risky new thing and people are unsure, but we’re having great success with it so we’re going to follow that path. I like it better that you can talk to the customers and tell them all these great things about the brand, otherwise it’s just sitting on a rack in a store and people don’t know what they’re buying.”

With BLEUSALT’s customer service line set up directly in her own home, Benson makes sure customers know what they’re buying. “I answer myself but they don’t know it’s me,” she said with a playful giggle. “It’s really fun actually because the feedback is mind-boggling. One of the biggest feedbacks for me was that their kids were stealing their stuff. All the kids I know, and I love kids, they just are begging for it, it’s adorable. It’s all good vibes and all good feedback.”

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With BLEUSALT’s baby line set to launch in September and a new collection, Light Blue, coming in June, Benson says she has a lot of exciting collaborations in the works. “It’s all happening by itself with some really great people that are excited about it and have come to me,” Benson said. “It’s going everywhere. It’s going to baby, to pet, to home.” The evolution of BLEUSALT will follow a storyline, Benson said. “This is how I see it going,” she said. “I have a girl and then a guy, her and the guy might move in first and get a dog, then they’ll have a baby and kids, and then it’s a whole lifestyle.”

This type of lifestyle is not new for Benson. The idea originally stemmed from Benson’s Malibu-inspired photography book, “The Point,” releasedin  2012. “Malibu to me is about the environment,” she said. “It’s about hiking, surfing, the sunsets, the sunrises, beach walks. That’s what made me do The Point. It’s where everything came from and that’s the lifestyle where BLEUSALT came from.” Her passion for photography stemmed from her overall creativity.  “I’m creative and if I can’t do something creative all the time I get a little bit frustrated,” Benson said. “Photography is like a remedy for me.”

  Benson's sons Max, left, (24) and Noah, right (20).

Benson's sons Max, left, (24) and Noah, right (20).

Inspired by her love of the environment, on Earth Day this year BLEUSALT announced a new partnership with charity Sculpt the Future Foundation, founded by David de Rothschild. “He’s passionate about no plastic in the ocean and that’s my desire too,” Benson said. “I don’t just want to use images of this beauty and not give back. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do from the beginning.”

Benson has a way of achieving what she always wanted to do. Growing up in the Valley, she always wanted to live in Malibu. “I think [living in Malibu] is just about the best life you can have,” she said. “Our community is special because everybody convenes on the beach. Everyone goes to the same school and then the beach for playing. It’s so ideal and that’s why [my ex-husband and I] decided to raise our kids here.”

Prior to the Malibu-lifestyle, Benson studied acting for 10 years years, but ultimately decided to forego a Hollywood career in order to support her ex husband, musician Kenny G’s, burgeoning career. “I was going down that path for a moment and at the time his career blew up and you can’t be together when it’s like that,” she said. “I decided to go with him and I threw myself into another person’s career and needed to find my own place in that.” The couple raised their sons, Noah, 20, and Max, 24, in Malibu. Noah currently attends USC, where he is studying music, while Max recently graduated from Columbia with a degree in music.  

When Benson isn’t spending time with her boys, she enjoys the company of her French bulldogs, Duke and Kenya, swims every morning and evening, and in the summer, she travels to Muskoka to recharge for the year. “Right now, 100 % of my time goes into BLEUSALT,” Benson said. “The whole experience has been rewarding. It’s been an incredibly important learning experience.” MM



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