Before making her way into the design world, Stacey Bendet, the brains behind Alice + Olivia was a University of Pennsylvania graduate and New York native skating towards life in the corporate lane. Dreaming big and thinking outside the box, began to brainstorm style as she designed web pages for an apparel company. “At the time, I felt there was a serious pant void,” she says. So, she designed her first pair of striped pants. “Theory did a great work pant, and everyone was doing denim. But no one was making a trouser sexy, or the focus of an outfit…So, that’s what I set out to do.”
In 2002, Bendet launched a 20-item collection based around that concept at the Russian Tea Room. Within months, Theory’s Andrew Rosen invested in Bendet’s fledgling business and her pants became a staple at Barneys. She christened her new line Alice + Olivia (so-named for two mothers–her own and that of a college classmate).
Stacey’s ‘pants’ are still a staple of today. Like so many successful contemporary designers, Bendet designs for herself. “It literally started based on me,” she says of Alice + Olivia’s cleverly cut pants. In fact, Alice + Olivia has branched into multiple collections including fashion, career, air (casual) and getaway. “I truly think of the brand itself as being truly feminine and I’m truly feminine. This is what I wear everyday,” Bendet recently told WWD.
Intrigue proudly carries Alice + Olivia. Shop wardrobe staples such as colorful silk blouses, structured vests and blazer, and lightweight knit tops.