With her smoky-eyed, rock star-with-a-twist signature look, Alice + Olivia (aliceandolivia.com) CEO and creative director Stacey Bendet is instantly recognizable. But since she moved with her family to Malibu last year, her style—along with her pace of life—has evolved into something softer. Here, the dynamic entrepreneur shares her fashion philosophy, reflects on how her brand has grown and reveals the one L.A.-centric clothing item she’ll never wear out.
When did you first become interested in fashion? When I was 2 years old, my parents bribed me with red patent leather shoes to give up my bottle—it seemed like destiny! My family was in the lace business for generations, so fabric and beautiful materials were instinctive for me.
Your look is totally unique. How would you describe your own style? A little ’70s, a little me, a lot of color! Color is a mood booster; dressing is personal expression. I always think of my outfit each day as daily art—it is my way of expressing myself! I encourage women to think this way about fashion.
How has it changed over the years? I think it’s become more sophisticated and it’s gone through phases, but no matter what, I always love a great fitted wide-leg pant, a rocker T-shirt and a big, glamorous jacket.
How has Alice + Olivia evolved since you launched the brand? We’ve grown from a single pair of pants into a global brand. The ethos has always been the same—empowering women through fashion, and allowing women to wear great-fitting items in their own unique way. We went from making fun pants to designing a full collection to opening stores, building a digital business, expanding to an international business and growing our overall direct-to-consumer business.
How are you enjoying living in Malibu? We came to Malibu in March 2020 and haven’t left! It’s been a really wonderful year with a slower pace than our normal NYC life. I don’t think my kids have worn regular shoes. They horseback ride and swim; we take beach walks and have family dinners. It’s been a great reset!
Do you dress differently in L.A. than you do in NYC? If so, how? Yes! In New York I am always in trousers and heels—I feel normal in beading and leather and glamorous outfits. My Malibu look is more casual: jeans, linen dresses, hats and wavy hair. It’s like the boho version of my city self.
What don’t you love about L.A. style? I will never understand wearing sweatpants for life beyond the gym.
What are some standout pieces from Alice + Olivia for fall? Our vegan pants, plaid shirtjackets and our wide-waistband pants.
What do you love most about what you do? I love making things, being creative every day and making beautiful clothes, but most of all I love the joy I bring to women when they put on an outfit that makes them feel their absolute best!
Photography by: Rony Alwin