n an Alice + Olivia design, chances are you will find butterflies and paisleys, zebra stripes and feathers, glitter and colour, all disparate elements coming together. Naturally, for founder Stacey Bendet’s own world is as rich with a juxtaposition of design, art, family, yoga and philanthropy.
Stacey Bendet is exactly as advertised. The creative director and CEO of Alice + Olivia is the living embodiment of the maximalist label she founded in 2002, and immersion into her world is a full-body slam that leaves us seeing rainbows, stripes and animal prints, all at once.
Bendet’s office inside the label’s atelier in New York’s Meatpacking district is a scene out of Alice In Wonderland (the Tim Burton imagining) complete with a man-sized mushroom sculpture by the Haas Brothers, and a harmonious cacophony of textures, prints, art, and furniture.
Bendet, a busy mother of three known for her personal style, says she lets her day’s mood dictate her daily wardrobe. Two days ago she was in bell-bottomed floral pants, yesterday was an all-purple suit before pivoting to today’s neon yellow mini and thigh-high boots. Bendet’s slideshow of looks is not personal whimsy but a smart creative strategy. She flits between periods, styles and trends, almost getting into character so she can design for the widest possible variety of women. As a result, Alice + Olivia offers something for everyone—party wear, bohemian dresses or classic pieces from any of the brands 36 boutiques around the world.
But there’s no missing her personal creative stamp. Everything is filtered through her lens, and the style elements she loves deeply become an Alice + Olivia signature—her distinctive color-blocked eye makeup, striped prints, ’70s bell-bottoms and collaborations with modern art heavyweights. The label has even trademarked her other signature look—massive globelike sunglasses and a puckered red lip, which appears as a cutesy graphic on ready-to-wear and accessories under the moniker StaceFace. We get a peek into Bendet’s whimsical, ever-changing world.
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