Interview

Interviews Style

Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia Tells a Tale as Old as Time

Alice + Olivia’s fall collection tells a story. “I was inspired by Salman Rushdie’s book The Enchantress of Florence,” says Stacey Bendet, the creative director and mastermind of the label. Rushdie’s book, which takes place between Renaissance Florence and Mughal India, tells the story of a woman forging her own way in a man’s world. Bendet’s collection tells a similar tale with designs that perfectly capture the feminine-masculine dichotomy and the vibrancy of the Italian Renaissance.

The fantasy and fable that has inspired Bendet’s line maintains her signature whimsy. Using vintage silhouettes, embellished fabrics and colorful prints, Bendet is true to her brand as she artfully interprets the conversation of female empowerment. Below, we caught up with the creative director to discuss the power of storytelling through design.

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Interviews Style

Tabitha Simmons’s Luxe Shoes Turn an Outfit into a Look

Tabitha Simmons is a busy mom, designer, stylist and fashion editor. Her fashion direction frequently appears in Vogue spreads, for which she’s dressed models Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Lily Aldridge. Safe to say, she knows a thing or two about what makes an outfit work. So it’s no surprise that Simmons’s eponymous shoe collection is just the thing to transform clothes into a full-blown look.

Inspired and adored by her stylish friends, Simmons is part of an elite fashion-feedback loop. Her best-selling Alexa pointed flat is named for none other than Alexa Chung. And Simmons’s designs have been spotted on style stalwarts like Kate Bosworth, Cara Delevingne and even Queen Bey.

We chatted with the British stylist/designer/force-of-nature about her influences and playfully chic designs.

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Interviews Style

Universal Standard Is Breaking the Plus-Size Industry with Their Beautiful Clothes

Before an event, Universal Standard cofounder Alex Waldman lamented to her friend Polina Veksler: “I have nothing to wear.” Puzzled, Polina wasn’t convinced that such a thing could be true for someone within such close proximity to Fifth Avenue. But really, Alex had nothing to wear.

“I think that’s when the penny dropped for Polina,” Alex says of her Universal Standard cofounder. “Non-plus women don’t know how difficult it is to find decent plus-size clothing.” The two friends decided to take action by creating their own plus label, introducing elevated, quality clothing to women of every size. “We want Universal Standard to break the plus-size industry,” says Alex, who, along with her cofounder, seeks to make fashion more accountable for its representation of women. “We would really like to lead this movement in the right direction.”

We caught up with these fierce female entrepreneurs to learn more about how their brand shatters the status quo of the plus-size industry and to find out what’s in store for their fashion revolution.

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Interviews Style Video

Behind the Brand: Robert Rodriguez Loves Outerwear, Proportions and Volume

Robert Rodriguez’s namesake label centers on clean lines, decadent fabrics and classically tailored silhouettes. Current, never trendy, understated—but completely contemporary—the Robert Rodriguez woman is above all always true to herself.

The creative director muses on his fall collection, and his undeniable love of outerwear and volume in our interview.

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Interviews Style

Behind the Brand: Rebecca Taylor on What Makes Fashion Feel Special

Rebecca Taylor’s feminine-chic aesthetic is an ode to her upbringing and her mother, who made a lot of the designer’s clothes growing up. We spoke with Rebecca about growing up in New Zealand, the beginning of her brand in her Brooklyn apartment and the modern versatility that makes her line endlessly appealing—plus her advice on how to be a sexy, confident woman, much like herself.

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Interviews Style

Biko Jewelry’s Designer on Making Modern Heirlooms and The Power of Shiny Accessories

Corrine Anestopoulos is really into earrings right now: “It’s all about the statement piece—something that’s lightweight but also looks like the main event,” she says. One look at BIKO’s Joyride Stud and we agree, you should never leave the house without a pair on.

The Toronto-based jewelry designer created BIKO in 2005 to introduce what she calls “modern nostalgia,” which looks like sleek, contemporary jewelry shapes with a little vintage inspiration. From pendant necklaces to artistic studs, Anestopoulos’s handcrafted pieces are exceptionally designed and versatile above all (and a favorite of stars like singer/songwriter/dancer/producer and Robert Pattinson paramour FKA twigs).

We spoke with the stylish entrepreneur about why accessories are the most important part of any outfit.

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Interviews Style

Eileen Fisher Designer Carmen Gama Believes Making Clothes Is a Lifelong Commitment

Where others see waste, Eileen Fisher sees possibility. The woman and her label are champions for sustainability, striving for a company that is “circular by design” (everything that is produced by the company is later recycled into new designs) in an effort to reduce the industry’s impact on our environment.

As part of her goal to be 100% sustainable by 2020, Fisher needed a groundbreaking solution for thousands of garments collected as part of the company’s recycling initiative. Designer Carmen Gama joined Fisher as one of three students selected for the CFDA’s Social Innovators Project. Gama and her Parsons classmates spent a yearlong residency with the fashion house, creating a new production concept that honors Eileen Fisher’s pledge to Mother Earth.

The Renew Collection answers the brand’s call for sustainable fashion by repurposing once-loved garments as one-of-a-kind pieces. We caught up with Gama, who is leading the design charge for the collection, to discuss her passion for responsible fashion.

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Get to Know Mercedes Castillo and Shop Her Modernist Shoe Collection | NEW / NOW

The experienced industry alum sculpts an evocative new line inspired by midcentury design, modern art and global wanderings.

MERCEDES_CASTILLO-15587_bw_v1_sq-(1)Photo courtesy of the designer

To celebrate the rollout of her bold—and exclusive-to-us—shoes, we traded some missives with the decorated Spanish designer.

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Pursuing Perfect City Clothes with Arc’teryx Veilance

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Veilance production images courtesy of Arc’teryx

You probably have heard of Arc’teryx, the Canadian outdoor company whose technically advanced gear stands up to extreme conditions. But do you know about Arc’teryx Veilance?

Veilance is the luxury fashion wing of Arc’teryx, which blends outdoor technology and ergonomics into versatile clothes for the city-dwelling person. Everything is tied back to a stark and vaguely mysterious aesthetic. Basically what we have here is apparel equally suited for biking to work, conducting meetings and looking cool on the street.

To learn more about Veilance, we caught up with designer Lars McKinnon and Arc’teryx lifestyle design director Takanori Kasuga. Topics discussed: professional histories, the nature of Gore-Tex and the unrelenting design mission of Veilance.

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SHOP: Mionn IS jacket | Graph cardigan | Seque tote | all Arc’teryx Veilance

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GREATS’ Ryan Babenzien Talks Breakdancing, Dominant Silhouettes and Vachetta Calf

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Ryan Babenzien and Nick Wooster at Nordstrom Toronto Eaton Centre

Brand new to Nordstrom is GREATS, the exciting Brooklyn-based sneaker brand shaking up the American luxury market, led by Ryan Babenzien. Perhaps you know the Babenzien family name because Ryan’s brother Brendon was the creative director of Supreme, the defining streetwear brand. Now it’s the other Babenzien’s turn to influence style.

Ryan is a visionary, pushing GREATS into the fashion consciousness with ambassador/consultant Nick Wooster at his side—a must-follow menswear icon—and designing with an open-source philosophy about silhouettes. He makes sure GREATS is competitive with other luxury brands (made in Italy with premium leathers) but sells at a lower price point. GREATS generally sells direct and does not wholesale its product—our partnership is an exception.

We just launched GREATS as a limited run in all our Canadian stores. They’re also available by phone: 1.877.794.5304*. You might want to place that order now; our initial buy will sell out.

Check out our interview with Ryan Babenzien below about his background, his business and his brother—and learn where the name GREATS came from in the first place.

*We ship free nationally. International orders are subject to customs and shipping fees.

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