Store Soirée With Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia
Stacey Bendet’s collections are dipped head-to-toe in color and so is her personality. Last week the petite designer behind Alice + Olivia stopped in our Dallas-NorthPark store to host a color-filled fête complete with buckets of candy, towers of cake balls, trays of glitter cupcakes and swirls of sugar-rimmed blood orange margaritas.
The designer’s sweet tooth — gummy peaches are her fave — extends to her label’s playful, eccentric, upbeat sensibility. It all began a decade ago with a pair of pants. Bendet, a web designer at the time, couldn’t find the right pair of flairs, so she decided to settle her style cravings and sew her own. Nicknamed Staceypants by her friends, she was often seen rollerblading through New York City in that first pair of bold striped bell-bottoms that instantly became iconic of the brand.
“One of my very close friends was one of the fashion editors at Nylon Magazine and she used to be like, ‘you know Stacey with the pants,’ and that turned into Staceypants,” Bendet says of her catchy moniker. Bendet’s printed pant quickly caught the eye of NM contemporary buyer Cheryl Onodera.
“It’s really fun to come here because Neiman Marcus was one of the first stores to buy Alice + Olivia 10 years ago when it was just pants,” the designer says. The original design was a fitted jean made with upholstery fabric. “Cheryl came to me one day and was like, ‘Stace, I need them in stretch and I need some sweaters to go with them.’”
Alice + Olivia’s Spring 2012 collection is bursting with variations of that original eye-catching piece – a style we at Neiman Marcus call fancy pants.
“There are these black and white ones that you don’t see on the mannequins,” Bendet says looking around the store. The entire contemporary buying team interrupts in unison “sold out!” The crowd laughs.
“Those are my favorites and I didn’t get a pair until a week ago!” Bendet says.
The buyers worked their magic and that in-demand design is available on NeimanMarcus.com and will be back on the NM shelves in two weeks.
Shop Alice + Olivia at Neiman Marcus stores and on NeimanMarcus.com.