Monday, 11 June 2012

An Ode to the Fabulous: Alice + Olivia

I first discovered Alice + Olivia when I was researching brands for my first uni project last year. I read a little bit about it and liked what I saw but didn't really think much more of it. A couple of weeks later, I was visiting London. I ventured into Harrods - just to admire, who would I be kidding to say my empty pockets could afford such beauty - to find myself at the new Alice + Olivia concession, it was the first I'd heard of the brand in the UK. I stood admiring the brightly coloured tops and the playful dresses. I took myself by surprise because as a fashion student, I thought I loved fashion enough but this was the first time I felt that I really loved a brand. This was the sort of love you have for your first prom dress or your favourite pair of heels, and it still is love, complete fashion infatuation.

Alice + Olivia was founded by Stacey Bendet who takes a very hands on approach, uploading photos of herself in A+O clothing to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. She is quite inspirational in herself rather than just the brand. I also admire the way that A+O connects with its customers, taking the time to get to know them by regularly tweeting questions asking it's followers about their favourite films or books. I was even more impressed when I tweeted about Alice + Olivia yesterday and got a reply.

Since I live in the North of England - a deprived place when it comes to fashion might I add - I like to admire the website quite often. The website is beautifully quirky and fun. I really like how the brand takes the website further than online shopping, they have a 'Stacey's Picks' section where Bendet's favourite designs are located and a '4AM Finds' section where you can find a lot of fabulous treasures like colouring pencils or cute jewellery.

What I love the most, except for all the stunning clothes I definitely cannot yet afford, is the fact Alice + Olivia share its inspiration. A+O have coined the term 'Inspiration Nation', where inspirational photos from the past and present are shared on the A+O blog and tumblr page. You get an insight to the thought behind the design and it feels like the brand is a person or a friend that you can relate to.

Alice + Olivia is definitely my favourite brand of all time, one day I'll be the proud owner of everything A+O and I can only hope they open stores in the UK soon.