Stacey Bendet has built a brand on quirkiness.
From the bold, striped bell bottoms that launched her clothing line in 2002 to a collection of funky platforms and embellished flats for Payless ShoeSource, the 32-year-old Alice + Olivia founder is focused on creating a lifestyle offering to match her own eclectic style.
Often spotted in towering platform wedges, flowing dresses and chunky jewelry, Bendet has described her own look as “random” — after all, she’s just as likely to throw on black pants and a shrunken T-shirt. Her approach has worked across the ready-to-wear collection, which now includes everything from party dresses to distressed jeans, as well as children’s clothing and footwear, thanks to Alice + Olivia for Payless and a 2010 Keds collaboration.
Now, Bendet is looking to go bigger. In addition to rolling out makeup with Mac and jewelry, she’s eyeing a fuller Alice + Olivia shoe collection for 2011. Bendet also plans to move her company’s offices and showroom along Manhattan’s High Line.
The New York native — mom to a toddler daughter with movie producer husband Eric Eisner — recently talked to Footwear News about a few of the lighter things in life.
I never leave the house without … High heels.
If a movie were made about my life, I should be played by … Dakota Fanning. “She was amazing in ‘The Runaways.’”
My best flea market scores: A vintage Norma Kamali dress with extra-long sleeves, and a Lanvin beaded and chiffon jacket.
Most memorable Alice + Olivia runway moment: “At one show, Moby and I walked out and pretended to be Edie Sedgwick and Andy Warhol.”
Travel must-haves: An iPod and a cashmere blanket.
Favorite New York haunts: “I always like Rose Bar and the Waverly Inn.”
If I could meet anyone: Snooki from MTV’s “The Jersey Shore.”
Underneath my bed you’ll find: Maybe baby toys, but usually nothing. “I am the biggest neat freak.”
Carry on or check baggage? “I ship it. I hate carrying a bunch of things to the airport.”
Next on my reading list: “‘Havana Nocturne.’ My husband is producing [the movie]. He’s mad I haven’t read it yet, so it’s on my bedside.”