Make way for the newest badass on the Design District block. Alice + Olivia, known for its vibrant kaleidoscope of color ready-to-wear pieces, has a found a new two-story home that’ll make you swoon. Creative director and designer Stacey Bendet was on hand in her signature black eyeshadow to fête the grand opening of the newest flagship store—on International Women’s Day, no less. Photo booths, Casamigos-infused popsicles, and a bright, floral Spring 2018 collection were front and center during the soirée. Also on-hand? Champ, an Alice + Olivia collection drawing on artist Zoe Buckman’s neon uterus (yes, uterus) that is currently on display at The Standard, Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. Bendet opened up to the Standard Culture about her new project around female empowerment and Alice + Olivia’s fresh Miami digs.
THE STANDARD: How fitting that tonight’s grand opening is on International Women’s Day, especially in light of how vocal you are on women’s rights.
STACEY BENDET: I think every day is Women’s Day—I have three daughters and my company has 400 women in it—but today was really special. We always think about the Miami woman and how she embodies so much of the Alice + Olivia spirit, so we thought it would be amazing to do a big party here tonight with so many women to celebrate International Women’s Day and the opening of our new flagship store.
But at the same time today, we also launched Champ, which is a project all about championing women’s rights that we did with the artist Zoe Buckman. We sponsored a piece of her art, which is a 43-foot tall neon uterus outside The Standard, Hollywood, and we made these Champ T-shirts to support it. I’m hoping that the project opens up a dialogue about women’s rights this year.
Talk to me about the Champ project and why it fits with the Alice + Olivia brand.
Zoe Buckman said, “As women we are always fighting for everything in our lives.” She wanted to create this uterus with boxing gloves as a symbol of strength, of female empowerment, and she called the project "Champ."
You dress so many women globally. How do you envision the Alice + Olivia Miami girl?
I think she is colorful, bold, and sexy. I love how women dress here. I love how they own their look and how they love to dress up.
Have you known life without color?
[Laughs.] I’m a color girl! Even if I’m wearing black, there’s something neon. I just think that color is uplifting. Color is something we all need in our lives.
The store is architecturally stunning. It’s a wonderful addition to the Design District. Why this neighborhood?
I just love this whole area. The way I’ve seen Miami evolve with Art Basel, I thought building an architecturally iconic store here just felt right. I worked with Robert Couturier, our architect, who brought my vision to life in the most creative, amazing way. I’m really proud of him.
We’re going to play a little game of rapid fire!
Beach or pool?
What?! You can’t say that in Miami! Mojito or Miami vice?
Bikini or one-piece?
Yacht or seaplane?
Arroz con pollo or vaca frita?
I’m not going to try and say that after you! [Laughs.]
Cuban coffee. Yes or no?
The Standard in Miami or NYC?