City Life Org – alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet turns 20
Ariana DeBose and Stacey Bendet attends as Stacey Bendet’s Alice + Olivia celebrates 20 years at Close East Lawn on June 15, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for alice + olivia)
ALICE + OLIVIA CELEBRATES 20 YEARS OF FASHION GROWTH #AO20
a+o celebrates its 20th anniversary! #AO20 and there’s so much to celebrate: two decades of creating beautiful clothes, promoting community, empowering women around the world, democratizing art through fashion, and supporting various organizations charities through our mission to create, uplift and inspire. The brand will honor 20 years later this month with the ultimate coming-of-age party: an epic prom, the launch of an evening dress capsule in collaboration with streetwear superstar KidSuper .
Early years styling and silhouettes are at the forefront of trending fashion in 2022, and the ideas that launched Stacey Bendet as a designer and sparked her foray into business are magnetic and cool. At the same time, the fashion industry has changed and progressed beyond anything anyone could have imagined in 2002. Stacey Bendet’s origins with alice + olivia are nostalgic and spark nostalgia for how the Creativity flourished before social media, while at the same time the ideas from the first alice + olivia collection are all over the streets.
Stacey Bendet launched Alice + Olivia in 2002 with a show at the iconic Russian Tea Room. This first collection, presenting two styles of pants: the Alice and the Olivia. The Olivia pants have since become an icon of that era and almost immediately caught the eye of Theory founder Andrew Rosen, who asked Stacey Bendet to partner in growing his brand. Cultivate it, they did. What started as a collection of pants over time expanded into ready-to-wear, accessories, and soon, kids and swimwear. Rosen taught Bendet, “everything I know in business, life and fashion”. The brand’s first order came from Barney’s, immediately putting Alice + Olivia at the forefront of the industry.
Brick and mortar and beyond
In 2005 Alice + Olivia opened their first retail store in East Hampton, New York. Since then, the brand has expanded to 25 locations in the United States and 18 locations internationally. The new store, which opened in May 2022, is located in the Mayfield area of London, the first alice + olivia location in the UK. Stacey Bendet’s vision to bring every woman’s dream wardrobe to the world has been successful time and time again, with stores opening in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, East Hampton, Greenwich , Houston, Malibu, Manhasset, Miami, Orange County, Palm Beach, Southampton, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Kuwait, Dubai, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Macao, Chengdu and Bangkok. Not to mention that the brand is present in more than 800 luxury and specialized stores around the world.
Of course, the retail concept has evolved considerably since the opening of this first physical location. Now every brand must also exist as a media company and e-commerce retailer, and alice + olivia have been fearless and creative in the areas of content creation, social media presence (like the social movement of the #ShareTheMicNow brand created to amplify the voices of black women), and creative collaboration.
Art and philanthropy
A central part of Alice + Olivia’s DNA is creating opportunities for philanthropic initiatives. In particular, Stacey Bendet has always focused on charities that support women and children around the world, from the Ronald McDonald House to the Good+ Foundation. The brand has also created collections with a portion of the proceeds going to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, to help foster the growth of the next generation of designers.
Supporting emerging creatives and designers is also important to the brand, and in 2020 Stacey Bendet launched Creatively, a social platform that allows art professionals to connect, collaborate and find job opportunities ( Alice + Olivia’s Prom collaboration with KidSuper began when Stacey and KidSuper’s founder, who was teaching a brand-building course, logged onto Creatively).
This emphasis on the possibilities of creative collaboration is part of Stacey Bendet’s own design process and her mission to democratize art through clothing. Over the past decade alice + olivia has created incredible collaborative collections with artists like Donald Robertson and the estates of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. alice + olivia was even the first women’s fashion brand to create a collection with the Beatles.
CEO at home
Since the creation of the brand, Stacey Bendet has also become a mother of three daughters, which has profoundly influenced her approach as CEO. “We’ve managed to create a culture where almost everyone who works for us has come back to work after having children. It’s something I’m really proud of,” says Bendet. His team is now 500 strong.
“When I started my company, there were no female CEOs of fashion brands. There were great designers, but they didn’t necessarily own and run their companies,” says Stacey. has had a lot of great changes and advances in the last four or five years but there is still a long way to go I think companies have made a lot of effort to diversify their boards but be being a founding wife and a mom for twenty years is no mean feat. Above all, I hope that I can inspire other women to go there.
#AO20 Fashion Rewind
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet highlights some of her favorite celebrity fashion moments for the brand. “One of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is that empowered women empower women,” Bendet says. “I was so lucky to have those highlights.”
Paris Hilton enlisted Stacey Bendet to design custom bridesmaid dresses and her sister Nicky’s bridesmaid dress for her 2021 wedding.”[Paris and Nicky] were two of the first people to wear the pants at the time, so doing bespoke dresses for the Paris wedding was so emotional and amazing,” Bendet says. “So many moments in life weave together.”
In 2015, Michelle Obama wore a colorful Alice + Olivia dress to the Special Olympics World Games Opening Ceremony. “I was pregnant and I was at Zoo Miami with my kids in the lemur room and my phone kept ringing,” Bendet said. “I finally got it and learned it was because Michelle Obama was wearing a full a+o!”
“Gwyneth Paltrow walked through the airport with two of our handbags, one in each hand. Sarah Jessica Parker wore one of our sequin dresses. Alanis Morrisette photographed an album cover in one of our crystal pants. Amal Clooney wore a pair of our embroidered jeans and it was breathtaking. I loved it when Kourtney Kardashian wore that black crystal top. Beyonce in our alice + olivia x Donald Robertson silk blouse: one of my favorite moments. Jenny Mollen is one of my favorite people to dress Gayle King wears our jumpsuits and sends me pictures Ebony Williams from the Real Housewives!
And one of my really favorite things to see is my girls in our clothes. I love it.”
To look forward
The brand’s iconic character, Stace, has appeared on everything from Volkswagen cars and Starbucks mugs to Maybelline makeup and cafes in Qatar and Tokyo. What will Stace see through his sunglasses over the next 20 years in his New York home, in the Metaverse, and beyond?
This year, alice+olivia is launching a program that combines a free NFT with the purchase of a blouse, an inspiring way to teach women about the process of NFT recovery.
The 20th Anniversary Ball was held on June 15 in New York City and featured a performance by Gracie Abrams, in addition to crowning prom royalty.
ABOUT ALICE + OLIVIA BY STACEY BENDET
Launched in 2002, alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is a brand that allows women to express their personal style. With clothes that juxtapose the whimsical and the flirty with the sexy and the sophisticated, a+o embodies the personality and perspective of its founder, Stacey Bendet. The brand was born out of Stacey’s personal quest to create the perfect pair of pants and has since grown into a comprehensive lifestyle collection including ready-to-wear, dresses, shoes, handbags and accessories. The brand is a Hollywood favorite with celebrity fans including Meghan Markle, Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gigi Hadid and Jessica Alba. alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet is available at the brand’s independent boutiques located across the Globe, aliceandolivia.comand is available in over 800 department and specialty stores worldwide.
Special thanks to Affirm
MAYOR’S PROCLAMATION NOTE: I, Eric Adams, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in the City of New York, as: “ALICE + OLIVIA DAY”