Saturday, June 12, 2010

My New Girl Crush: Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia

Stacey Bendet is one of those girly girls you just can't help but adore!  I say that as if I know her, as if we've lunched together, shared mojito recipes or went bikini shopping together. No, no ... true, she could be a biotch to work for, a harlet with a gaze so deadly no weapon dare take her on, but I just have a reeeeeally hard time believing that could be so.

I became interested in learning more about her when she was headlined as a young millionaire entrepreneur having started the early foundations of her own clothing line at the tender age of 19.  It got better from there.

Bendet, now 32, started alice + olivia with her University of Pennsylvania friend Rebecca Matchett.  The women's lifestyle line is so successful it now reportedly brings in an estimated $50 million a year and is sold in over 800 stores internationally. She's expanded her initial offerings to now include party dresses, coats, embellished t-shirts, jewelry, scarves, a children's line inspired with the birth of her daughter Eloise, and yes, of course, pants (more on that in a sec).

Stacey in a pair of her famous pants

The success of alice + olivia (named after Bendet's and Matchett's mothers) is said to rest upon Bendet's unique creativity. Her first stroke of genius was in designing pants with bold colors, bell-bottoms, groovy textures, striping, denim (of course) all perfect-fitting; well, not your typical business suit pant, right?  Nicknamed "Staceypants" her idea took flight. Requests began flocking in from young trendy celebs all over, and Barney's and Fred Segal soon picked up her designs. Matchett has since gone on co-found another clothing company, Rebecca & Drew.

Google her, and you'll see she's no wallflower in front of a camera.  Here's what I adore ... her enthusiasm, passion and joie de vivre just spill out onto film, the page, cloth material, whatever medium you use to reflect her essence. I imagine what it might be like to have maybe 1/10 of this woman's energy. What mountains could I conquer? What ills could I cure? What fashion genius might I create? Where might I travel in my renovated Airstream camper with a bunch of other girly-loves spreading the contagion of my fashion must-haves (yes, she's touring)? And might I find a soulmate to marry who just happens to be the son of a corporate magnate - perhaps even one as fantastical and magical as, oh I don't know, let's say The World of Disney? Yet let's have him successful in his own right, maybe with a film production company of his own with international contacts, don't you think?

Whew .... I'm exhausted. Stacey-"Pants" Bendet, well Stacey Bendet Eisner since her wedding in 2008 to Eric Eisner, son of former Disney head Michael Eisner (yes, with his own Sundance Film Festival winning production company) has just got the fairytale existence and the energy needed to pull it off. She is the proverbial "It Girl!"

Not that you need one more reason to take interest in Stacey Bendet Eisner, but ....... hey, it involves MAC, you'll want to know!  As reported by WWD in April of this year, she has teamed up with MAC Cosmetics to create an alice + olivia limited edition color cosmetics collection that will hit stores July 8th. The concept is intuited, "As if Alice in Wonderland fell down the rabbit hole and met a makeup artist instead of the Mad Hatter — think deep turquoise shimmer pigments, purple nail polish and yellow Dazzleglass Crème lip gloss."

Can hardly wait!  Oh, and Stacey, I understand you're also philanthropic.  Should you want to donate just an eensy bit of that energy and glow you've got going on, please don't hesitate in the slightest to send some my way.  xo

For a cool Q&A with Stacey Bendet, check out the brief transaction by Fabian Basabe. I thought this was lots of fun to read.

images/sources: getty images, wireimage, wwd, alice + olivia, aol

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