August 24, 2016
Who: Stacey Bendet, CEO & Creative Director of Alice + Olivia, Fashion Designer, Yogi
Why She's Foxy: She's an Ashtanga yogi, mother of three, and sartorial tour de force whose climbed her way to the top of Fashionlandia wearing eight inch heels and bright red bell-bottoms.
On Her Signature Style: "I've done the black eye makeup since I was, like, twelve years old. I was always so tiny and looked so young — and I thought I needed a signature style to look older. But there’s no in between for me. I’m either totally bare-faced or wearing my black eye makeup. After I had my first daughter Eloise, I dyed my hair black because I needed a change. Her birth also coincided with the growth of my business. At the time Alice and Olivia was for young girls, but I really wanted to grow with my customer. I didn’t just want to make her the party dress; I want her to evolve as I was evolving. I dress Michelle Obama, and I also dress Sasha and Malia. I dress my mother, and I dress my friends."
On Her Icons: "My business icon is my partner Andrew Rosen. He's taught me how to act in business and in my regular life. To not overreact, to take the high road. To have the mindset: this too shall pass. He helps me keep my focus. He’s a real godfather to the industry. My lifestyle icon is Amy Fine Collins — there is not a moment where that woman does not have a hair out of place, She’s always doing yoga or paddle boarding in the middle of some lake looking like total perfection."
On Her Journey To Success: "I was building websites after I graduated from college, and one day I walked by this window on 39th street, and noticed these striped upholstery fabrics that were amazing. I bought them and took them to a pattern maker and asked if they could be made into pants. I launched Alice + Olivia the year after. The whole concept at the beginning was crazy bell bottom in fun novelty fabrics. The first few years were basically fashion school for me. I had to learn about pattern making and production. I had to learn every little piece of the business. After the pants, I started doing little cashmere sweaters with elbow patches. And the line just kept growing, item by item. In 2005 I opened my first store in East Hampton. Now we have thirty-six stores."
On Motherhood + Yoga: "The two things that have helped me the most in business is yoga and having kids. Ashtanga forces you to really learn take things step by step and perfect them before moving on, which is very applicable to business. And patience, kindness and the ability to nurture is very helpful when it comes to managing people.I used to be much more short and snippy and like ‘come on come on, go go go’ before i had children. These days, I'm much more calm."
On Dating + Marriage: "I met my husband at a dinner party in 2002, but we didn't start dating until 2005. We eloped on the beach after three years when I was pregnant. I wore a ton of white ruffles. We have three daughters now, and there’s something about the baby that’s totally changed the dynamic between the other two girls. When I was pregnant I went to an astrologer who told me that the third child would really unite our family."
Fave Love song: "'She's a Rainbow' by The Rolling Stones and 'Just Like a Woman' by Bob Dylan."
Fave Love Book: "All my reading material right now is dedicated to setting limits for your strong willed child."
Fave Love Movie: "'Annie Hall', mostly because it made such a pant statement!"
On Her Fantasy Wedding: "Mick Jagger and Bianca — I would stay up 'til six am with a rock star wearing a lace dress with bell bottom jeans underneath. "
Fifty Years from Today: "I’m sort of envisioning futurist Iris Apfel."