Alice + Olivia has officially turned 20, ringing in its milestone accomplishment — including Mayor Eric Adams declaring June 15 “Alice + Olivia Day” —with a prom-themed soirée in New York City. To further mark the occasion, designer Stacey Bendet is also reflecting on her career in the fashion industry.
As a brand beloved by Hollywood, Alice + Olivia’s colorful and glamorous clothing has been integral in pop culture phenomenons like “Gossip Girl,” “Hacks,” “Dynasty” and “Scream Queens.” The brand has also been worn numerous stars, among them Paris Hilton, Sofia Richie and Kourtney Kardashian.
In an exclusive interview with Footwear News, Bendet reveals that those meaningful moments — from dressing Michelle Obama to her own children, and launching pants at Barney’s New York — have evolved and grown over time. However, she always excites from seeing women in her clothes.
“You know, every time I see a beautiful woman walk by me in one of my dresses, or an outfit, I get that feeling of, ‘Wow, I did that, and I hopefully made her feel amazing tonight,'” Bendet shares, clad in a sequined Alice + Olivia x Kidsuper maxi dress, crystal tiara and towering red wedges.
Fashion is a competitive business, and lasting for 20 years is no small feat. However, Bendet believes her longevity stems from her drive, hard work and understanding how her customers want to dress — as well as the support of her team.
“We’re so focused on the Alice + Olivia woman and who she is, and how we want to make her feel every day with our clothes,” says Bendet. “But 20 years in fashion is a lot of hard work. I mean, people see the glamour and the fame and the celebrity, but every day my team works so hard to make our clothes come to life.“
Bendet also took a moment to reflect on her fashion career, sharing the advice she’d give to her younger self when launching Alice + Olivia in 2002.
“I think just to believe in yourself and to keep growing, and keep working hard and focus on making beautiful clothes,” the designer shared. “I think whenever business gets tough and times get challenging, like 2020, the one thing you tell yourself is, ‘Focus on making really beautiful product.’”
Alice + Olivia celebrated its 20th anniversary with an “A + O Prom”-themed party on The Close East Lawn in New York City. The event included performances by DJ Kiss and Gracie Abrams, as well as numerous photo activations, a Polaroid station and customizable hoodies. The occasion’s star-studded guest list also featured Nicky Hilton, Busy Phillips, Ariana DeBose, Ella Emhoff, Lea Michele, AnnaLynne McCord and more. The event was further marked by designer Stacey Bendet receiving a Mayoral Proclamation by the City of New York from Eric Adams, deeming June 15 as Alice + Olivia Day.
Discovee Alice + Olivia’s dinner at New York Fashion Week in the gallery.