Style star Olivia Palermo has finally launched her highly anticipated clothing collection, and it oozes the insouciant elegance that earned her a fevered following.
Top and skirt both at dvf.com.
"My earliest fashion memories are times spent at antique road shows with my mother and aunt,” offers style star Olivia Palermo when asked how her sartorial spark first ignited. “With my aunt being the head of the couture department and costume jewelry at Doyle’s and my mother being an interior designer, a lot of afternoons were spent on the hunt for beautiful objects, fashion included,” she says. “I think it was the exposure to vintage and antiquities that formed my appreciation for craftsmanship.”
“Believe it or not, I actually wanted to be a sports commentator when I was younger,” she says when asked if fashion was always her passion. “My mother did always dress me nicely, so I guess I had a fondness for clothes, but I enjoyed sports much more at that age. It wasn’t until later in my teenage years when I interned in editorial at Quest magazine that I really started to home in on my love for style.”
Fast-forward several decades, 6.4 million Instagram followers and gazillions of street-style posts later—and her highly anticipated eponymous ready-to-wear is finally here. Launched this past February, her debut 84-piece Olivia Palermo Collection boasts her signature style and is meant to be trans-seasonal. All of the feminine flourishes that Palermo is known for are there—tie-neck blouses, long skirts, delicately detailed jackets and blazers. “Creating my own collection was a natural progression for me. My genuine love and understanding of fashion paired with successful collaborations and more than a decade learning the ins and outs of the industry had given me the confidence to take the leap,” she says. “For years people have asked me when I would create a collection, but I always thought it really important to fully experience and understand every element of the industry I could before doing so,” Palermo explains of the years she spent collaborating with brands ranging from Banana Republic to Aquazzura. “This way, I would be able to offer my community, and the world, a collection that is thoroughly considered in every way possible. Attention to detail, impeccable fit, quality materials and construction are all integral. I wanted this collection to be seamlessly integrated into your wardrobe and be styled as an expression of your own individuality.”
Double-breasted jacket, $598, and flounce-hem dress, $525, both by Olivia Palermo Collection at oliviapalermo.com; Audrey sunglasses, $570, at jimmychoo.com; Limelight Gala watch, price upon request, at piaget.com.
To help bring her vision to life, Palermo enlisted a full design team led by Alice Fern, an alum of Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors. “The aesthetic of the collection is similar to my own personal style: eclectic while always tailored and polished. These are timeless, elegant pieces that can be easily incorporated into anyone’s wardrobe… but lend themselves to great styling too.” A refined elegance punctuated with fashionable flourishes define the line—think jeweled buttons on a plaid jacket or lace cuffs on a boyfriend blazer. “The silk separates have definitely been a staple during these months at home when you want to be a bit more comfortable but still appropriate for work video meetings. And the leathers are amazing for the transitional seasons!”
The New York native and regular Hamptonite hopes to capture the same spirit of self-expression for which she is so celebrated. “I find it incredibly motivating to see women excited about getting dressed and passionate about the clothing they wear,” she says. “My goal is to create clothing that inspires the same feeling and promotes creativity and self-expression. I want to empower women to be the best versions of themselves.”
The Manhattan-based maven has stayed sane thanks to her wellness routine—and regular escapes out East. “I have really gotten into sound meditation in the past couple of years,” she shares. “I find that it really helps me reset and recharge from the daily stressors of business and just life in general. Working out too—whatever routine Tracy Anderson Method has me doing that week definitely keeps me grounded. Super thankful for her at-home workouts.”
Neck-tie pleated midi dress, $498, by Olivia Palermo Collection at oliviapalermo.com; Limelight Gala watch, price upon request, at piaget.com; leather Beck slippers, $720, at fratellirossetti.com; ring, Palermo’s own.
The style star laments the impact the pandemic has had on the fashion community, but has remained optimistic by taking action to support her community and donating both personally and professionally to a myriad causes. “As an ambassador for Dress for Success, we have been trying to partner on ways to fundraise in lieu of the normal programming that COVID-19 has made impossible,” she says. “Dress for Success has always done incredible work providing resources to women, and the fear is that those resources are only going to be more crucial as we see the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the community.”
Palermo hopes that some silver linings will emerge from the current challenges. “I hope that the fashion calendar resets, as it’s daunting, and that there is a renewed appreciation for creativity and quality rather than just overconsumption. And I certainly hope that the fashion industry’s hesitancy toward inclusivity ceases. I want inclusivity, in all forms, to be more prevalent for genuine reasons and not just commercial ones.” This hope extends beyond the fashion community as well. “I hope the world will learn to be nicer to one another and to the planet we call home. We are all humans and should be treated equally,” she says. “It is time we go back to the basics and build a stronger foundation as a global community.”
Palermo hints that there will be big news from the brand later this fall. “I always have something up my sleeve.”
Photography by: Johannes Huebl