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Our exclusive with the founder of alice + olivia

American fashion designer Stacey Bendet is a global fashion phenomenon. Since launching alice + olivia back in 2002, the CEO and Creative Director has transformed the brand into a full contemporary lifestyle label beloved of celebrities — and everyone else — worldwide. A keen Ashtanga yoga fan, mother and supporter of charities, Bendet is a creative wonder woman. Here she shares with us her journey, the inspirations behind her latest collection and her thoughts on modern luxury trends.

Why did you decide to launch alice + olivia?

I started making my own pants out of upholstery fabrics when I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. Everyone was wearing jeans at the time, and I created pants in the boot-cut and bell-bottom jeans style but made from novelty fabrics. Andrew Rosen saw my pants in a small fashion show I did at the Russian Tea Room and offered to help me expand. He turned out to be the best partner I could ever ask for!

What’s the alice + olivia brand style?

I think of it as a brand that allows every woman to express her personal style — I consider getting dressed a woman’s art each day. I design clothing that juxtaposes the whimsical with the sexy and sophisticated. I want women to have fun with their wardrobes!

Who is the woman you design for?

I try to think of all different women when I design. I’m inspired by women around the world and I love dressing women from all over the world.

alice + olivia Designer and Founder, Stacey Bendet

What changes have you seen in Chinese and
Hong Kong luxury consumers recently?

We’ve found that women in China love fashion, colour and newness in their wardrobes. Similarly, when I first started going to Hong Kong, women were more conservative and wore suits and carried designer handbags. But women today have embraced contemporary fashion and their style has evolved to be much bolder.

Are you excited by any new Chinese brands?

Caroline Hu — her designs are so romantic!

What do you like wearing when not in alice + olivia?

Honestly, I wear a lot of alice + olivia — my wardrobe has our archives, which date all the way back to 2002! I like to mix in vintage bags, Gigi Burris hats and the occasional Nike sneaker!

Can you tell us more about your latest collection?

The Fall 2019 collection is inspired by fantasia — it merges art, fashion, and fantasy together to create a world of whimsy and colour. It’s a modern, romantic fairy tale where dreams really do come true, and it uses a vibrant colour palette, emotional prints and luxurious tailoring of day and evening wear.

We’re continuing to work with the trends of sophisticated prints, elegant engineered burnouts and animal prints. We’ve matched leopard and zebra prints on a sequin dress and blazer as well as on rocker T-shirts. We’ve created a butterfly print that features on kimonos, dresses, capes and pants. Puffer jackets in reversible prints and patterns come into play, worn over evocative dresses and sequinned skirts.

Statement T-shirts are still having a moment for us — ours are inspired by the collection’s theme of the female protagonist, like our rainbow fringe sweatshirt embroidered with the word “grateful”. We’ve created our signature pants in a wide array of shapes that juxtapose evening to day — think velvet cargo joggers and wide-leg pull-up styles.

Our suit of the season is a beautiful merlot velvet straight-leg pant with an expertly tailored tonal blazer, symbolising a luxe minimalist-meets-maximalist ode to the 90s. Our dresses come with shoulder pads, plunging necklines and short lengths. Finally, there are also classic black and white gowns with ornate beading to tie the collection together. We’re really pleased with how everything came together!

2019-07-31 00:04:00.0