Olivia Palermo has tried on clothes from practically every brand you can think of. Spending all that time as a style icon gave her an understanding of how things should fit, the way fabrics should feel, and what works and what doesn’t. That has all been channeled into her eponymous clothing line, which launches today on OliviaPalermo.com and Saks Fifth Avenue stateside, as well as specialty stores across the globe. Just like her personal style, the line has an array of looks, all classic and polished. “There’s something for everyone,” Palermo says. “Some days I want to be a more youthful, other days I want to be a bit more conservative and more covered. Our age range goes from teenagers to women in their 70s, so it’s designed for every type of woman.”
In the works for nearly two years, the Spring Summer collection is comprised of 84 pieces, encompassing staples like button downs to leather coveralls and capelets, with prices ranging from $275 to $1,595. “My brother and I started the Olivia Palermo group about three years ago and we have been building up the team carefully,” Palermo says. “We started with the website and building out editorial and retail and now we’re building out ready to wear. It’s super exciting. This was the third tier of our plan and it’s a part of the evolution of the brand continuing to grow and going into the next chapter.”
Though Palermo has done plenty of design collaborations in the past, including with Nordstrom, Karl Lagerfeld and Banana Republic, this marks the first time she is designing her own collection. “It’s been wonderful working and consulting with lots of brands around the world, seeing how their in-house design is done, working on a brand and a retailer side, and really seeing behind the scenes of how their production is done,” Palermo says. “Our goal was always to build everything in-house.”
It’s no surprise that for design inspiration Palermo looked to her own closet. “When my head of design, Alice Fern, came on board from Michael Kors, we went through all of my own personal closet and pieces that I had in storage and built out spring, pre-fall and fall,” she says. “Seeing how that would look from the colors to the textures and so forth, we had a very clear brand direction and ethos. It’s fun, lots of prints, but very tailored, classic and you can mix and match into your wardrobe. It’s been a really wonderful process and it was nice to build out spring all the way to fall because you saw the evolution of the color story go from bright into deeper, really beautiful rich tones and silhouettes. When I design I really think for everyone.” Palermo plans to eventually expand into men’s clothing, as she has a huge men’s following in the Olivia Palermo community.
It was important that the collection was designed to be easily integrated into anyone’s closet. “I’m big into layering so, for example, you have a lace turtleneck you can layer underneath shirts or dresses,” Palermo says. “Leathers are really key in the collection. You’ll see leathers and lace as well. There’s lots of movement and attention to detail. I love the sporty feel to it. The overcoats are my favorite—I love an overcoat, I really do, and the suit is fantastic with a cargo pant. I think it fits very well.”
The collection doesn’t include accessories for now, but that’s where the retail component on OliviaPalermo.com comes in. “We are big champions of supporting emerging talent so we decided to curate and help support some young talent on the site,” Palermo says. “We’re going to continue to do that and that retail accessories component will act alone and then this will standalone. It’s its own little vehicle; I don’t them to merge. They can compliment each other.” Palermo and her team worked closely with accessories houses to bring the best in class to her site.
Though Palermo is undoubtedly a fashion icon, she’s looking forward to seeing how others will style the collection. “I love to see how all the women from the OP community style themselves and how excited they are about fashion,” she says. “It’s really refreshing.”