Power Couple: Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict
by rachel felder
One would logically expect Daniel Benedict and Andrew Saffir, one of the Hamptons’ most well-connected couples when it comes to benefit galas and chic film premieres, to spend summer weekends amid a potentially exhausting whirlwind of events. But a typical Saturday night at this power pair’s low-key East Hampton home is about as far as you can get from a black-tie affair: flip-flops, a couple of glasses of red wine, a view of the sunset, and a whole lot of quiet. “We come out here and hide a little bit,” Saffir says of their Hamptons hideaway.
Benedict and Saffir, who have been together for 15 years and tend to finish each other’s sentences, use their beachfront Nantucket-style house on weekends year-round to recharge from their hyper-busy schedules. Saffir runs the Cinema Society, the exclusive, celebrity-friendly screening series he founded almost seven years ago, which hosts around 60 events annually in New York and the Hamptons. Benedict, who was recently appointed brand ambassador for The Leading Hotels of the World, creates candles and other home amenities that are sold in nearly 500 retail outlets, including Mecox Gardens and East Hampton Gardens.
Although their careers don’t necessarily intersect, the two rely on each other for brainstorming and for balance. “We have our separate work lives, but they’re concentric circles,” Saffir says. “It keeps us sane that we have our own things, but we come together at the end of the day. When it feels like all of Hollywood is tugging at me and I’ve got a mountain of work, Daniel is my lifeline.”
“Since we don’t work together but are so privy to each other’s business, it’s easier to give constructive and strategic advice,” says Benedict. “I feel like we’re both fully aware of everything going on professionally with both of us.”
Over the summer, the couple spends two full months in their beach house, which, as is the case with their Upper East Side apartment, has two separate desks. “I don’t think we would’ve lasted this long if we shared a desk,” Saffir laughs. In the Hamptons, Benedict prefers to work on a laptop in the shade outside; Saffir paces on the phone, omnipresent BlackBerry in hand. Barring a Cinema Society screening at a friend like Donna Karan’s or Ron Perelman’s home, however, the weekends are reserved for the aforementioned quiet time, or the occasional lobster dinner party on the beach with friends.
“I love, savor, and relish the summer so much that I already have a bit of anxiety that summer’s almost over before it’s even started,” says Saffir. “All I want to do these days is be near the beach and the sand.”
ABOVE: Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict, your guides to the East End social scene
photography by Eric Striffler