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Q+A With Alice + Olivia's Stacey Bendet and Her Daughter Eloise

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Photo Credit: Bonnie Datt

We caught up with Alice + Olivia founder and designer, Stacey Bendet, during her Valentine's Day presentation at The Plaza Hotel. When the interview was arranged, we didn't realize we'd also have the pleasure of speaking to special guest interviewee, Eloise* Stacey's two year old daughter.

*Eloise not photographed, by request.

Racked: What inspired this collection?

Stacey: My inspiration was a sort of modern day Auntie Mame. It wasn't so much the clothes, it was more this woman who was glamorous, sophisticated and eccentric—a true individual. That kind of inspired the whole feel of the show.

(Eloise starts squirming in her mother's arms.)

Want to go to Daddy?

Racked: So that led you to The Plaza?

Stacey: Yes. And—(Minor chaos erupts as Eloise repeatedly attempts to grab our microphone, and we repeatedly attempt to move it just out of her grasp.)

Racked: So was Eloise named after the Eloise, of The Plaza?

Stacey: Yes, that was my favorite book when I was little and I wanted to name my first daughter "Eloise."

(Eloise grabs at Bendet's necklace.)

Would you mind bending down with us for a second?

Racked: Of course not!

Stacey puts Eloise down on the floor and the rest of our interview takes place at a two year old's eye level—with us attempting to squat in a manner which won't reveal the tops of our stockings beneath our skirt.

Racked: And this your first presentation here at The Plaza?

Stacey: Yes.

Eloise: No.

Stacey: Our other presentations have been mostly Downtown--kind of rock and roll, and I just wanted to do something that felt a little more glamorous and uptown sophisticated.

(Eloise starts pulling at Stacey's necklaces again.)

Stacey: (To Eloise) Do you want this one? Do you want that one? How about if you hold it?

(To Racked) It just felt like the clothes really grew up this season and I wanted that to be present in the presentation. I just wanted a totally different vibe.

Racked: But you feel your clothes span both worlds?

Stacey: Right, like in the front, we have a David Bowie kind of Gene Genie flavoring—very tour jacket-like. I like mixing things up that way.

Racked: Thanks so much. Can we get a photo of you for Racked?

Stacey: Sure.

(A publicist tries to take Eloise who doesn't want to go.)

Publicist: Eloise, we have chocolate, would you like some chocolate? We have chocolates!

(Eloise does not want chocolates.)

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