There were the girls Patrick McMullan immortalized in the 70s and 80s, perfectly glamorous and louche at clubs downtown and cocktail parties on the Upper East Side. Their beautiful stares, hands on waist and cradling cocktails, YSL gowns, Halston pant suits and easy laughter are still embedded in back issues of New York and Vogue. You may even remember some of their names, but most would never enter the lexicon.
The beautiful brown haired girl Patrick McMullan trained his lens on at parties about town in the mid 200os may have been a college student and a regular on the Uptown party circuit, but her image was not about to fall away into the archives. Olivia Palermo quickly became a girl about town, talked about locally and then nationally she went on to become a reality television star but her cool disposition and easy connections left her immune to most of the catty drama synonymous with reality fare. Palermo left television behind and has begun building her empire appearing in ad campaigns for Mango and Tibi, working with Ports 1961, and with rumors looming of her own line in the works. Get to know the fashion site and magazine fixture content to build her brand, travel with her boyfriend Johannes and take fame in stride.
What would you say are the elements of your personal style now?
My taste has evolved over the years, but I have always stayed true to my own personal style, which I would describe as timeless classic with a modern edge. And, of course for me its all about accessorizing!
Whats the first thing you think about when getting dressed in the morning or for an occasion?
I love clothes and wearing them, but first and foremost I always dress for myself. If youre not comfortable with what you have on, than you wont feel good no matter what the occasion.
There were also some pics of you taken by the paparazzi recently in St. Barths, do you travel often? What are some of your favorite destinations?
I love to travel and open my eyes to all the different forms of beauty in the world. I dont fancy staying in the same place for very long. A few of my favorite destinations are the Maldives, St Barth’s, and anywhere with a significant amount of snow to go skiing.
Whats one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
That I love sports.
If you were to do a fashion line at any time, what would your approach be? What place in the market would you like to fill?
I cant give away all of my secrets. Its something youll have to watch in time.
What designers are you really feeling lately?
DVF, Giambattista Valli, Marchesa.
What pieces do you find yourself wearing over and over again?
I wear everything in my closet over and over again. Its all about using your imagination to create different looks with pieces you already own.
Whats the best part of fashion shoots for you?
Being surrounded by all the beautiful clothes and accessories. Its also a huge plus when Johannes and I get to work together like when we did a shoot for Mango in Barcelona. It was my first time there and I was glad I got to share the experience with him.
What music are you listening to now?
I listen to a little bit of everything, from oldies to R&B to house and cheesy pop music that no one ever admits to listening to.
What are your thoughts on fame? Is it something youre comfortable with or does it still feel strange?
Its a part of my job and I try not to dwell negatively on it. If someone wants to take a picture, I dont mind.
Who do you think of as fashion icons?
Im obsessed with Old Hollywood glamour. Most of my fashion icons are from that time period: Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Carey Grant, Humphrey Bogart.
What are you looking forward to style wise for Spring?
I’m thrilled that spring is all about bright colors. Like any New Yorker, I love a nice sharp black outfit, but I really couldnt live without color. Jil Sander and Jonathan Sanders did an amazing job making a statement with color in a playful way.
You’re thought of as a really NYC girl, could you ever see yourself living anywhere else? What do you love about New York?
NYC is a fantastic and unique city. I grew up here and will always consider it my home; however, I believe it is extremely important to travel and see the world. For the last few years, Johannes and I have been trying to balance our time in between NYC and Europe and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Could you see yourself back at a magazine ever? What were the positives of that kind of environment?
I enjoyed being an editor and will most likely continue contributing editing for a few magazines such as Vogue UK or Grazia, but my primary focus is on designing and acting.
What are your main goals for the future now?
My main focus is spending more quality time with Johannes and our dog Mr. Butler, and then designing, modeling and acting.
Photographer: Seiji Fulimori
Stylist: James Worthington DeMolet
Makeup: Keiko Hiramoto, Bryan Bantry
Hair: Rutger, See Management
Manicurist: Maki Sakimoto
Model: Olivia Palermo, Wilhelmina