Having a clear brand identity in today’s retail climate is everything. Stacey Bendet was ahead of the curve in that regard, championing women’s rights and a sense of female empowerment from her brand’s onset. Yes, the clothes themselves range from playful and whimsical to cool and relaxed that help inject customers with confidence, but the appeal also lies with Bendet’s projects outside from that, including, but not limited to, her support for young talent and an upcoming project to shed light on the very real issue of human sex trafficking. So when she says she cares about empowering women, she really means it.
Most customers will experience that through the clothes, where both romantic maxidresses and classic suiting are equally uplifting and appealing. The pre-fall range was more muted than the color-charged palette of spring and more akin to a bohemian summer. A thread of Seventies romance ran through suede separates, paisley prints and intricate floral embroidery atop leather jackets and cowboy boots.
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Although the range was earthy and romantic, there was a dose of rocker edge laced with a cool girl vibe. Slipdresses were paired with big lightweight knits, a croc jacket toughened up delicate engineered prints and a top composed of embroidered ribbons was styled back to a sexy lace skirt with hints of skin. There were some great summer wedding options as well, including a playful patchwork babydoll dress and a voluminous maxidress meant to billow in the wind.
With the success of the classics suiting range in stores (which retail partners will begin carrying in January), Bendet offered up a shimmery metallic jacquard suit as modern workwear, noting: “These are clothes not just for work, but for the modern working woman. She doesn’t dream about success, she works for it.”
Launch Gallery: Alice + Olivia Pre-Fall 2020