Photo courtesy Johannes Huebl
Interview

OLIVIA PALERMO

10.17.11

Olivia Palermo shot to fame on the MTV show “The City,” which documented her careers working at Diane Von Furstenberg and Elle Magazine. She has launched a jewelry line with Roberta Freymann in 2010, has been a guest judge on “Project Runway,” and is represented by Wilhemina Models in New York. In October 2011, she launched OliviaPalermo.com.

Interview

At the age of 25 you’ve already filled roles such as model, designer, cover girl, style icon and now blogger. What excites you most about your new venture?

There are a few aspects of this venture that are most exciting to me. Being able to travel and participate in the fashion industry in several different capacities on a global scale gives constant inspiration. OliviaPalermo.com is an online media platform that will allow me to share the beauties I experience on my travels. But, most importantly, it is also a platform to profile and share with the world other tastemakers that I believe in. Everyone needs fashion inspiration; places inspire me, clothes and art inspire me, but most importantly, it’s the wonderful people I work with and alongside that inspire me. Through my site I will introduce these people to an online audience.

Who are the members of your team, what do they bring to the table?

I have two full time staff people on the site, my business partner and managing partner, Sandy Hussain, and our lovely and stylish Fashion and Accessories Editor Teresa Greenfeld.

Sandy brings to the table a world of knowledge and experience in business, marketing, and online strategy. She’s been working with me over a year now on several projects, and this site is the culmination of traveling together, sharing many long nights brainstorming and building a vision of a brand and company that will begin online. We like to say that we balance each other out and that’s why this team has been able to work so well together.

Teresa and I have known each other forever, she reads my mind when it comes to style. Sandy and I brought Teresa on initially as a writer but it was really clear that with her hard work and her undeniable sense of style and fearlessness when it comes to working in a start-up environment that Teresa was the perfect compliment to our full-time team.

There will be more to come on OliviaPalermo.com, there is a vision we all share and we are working towards that on a daily basis. The bottom line is that I do travel a lot. I’m on the phone or video conference with Teresa and/or Sandy several times a day working on the editorial direction and creative content of the site but even if there is a moment when a fashion shoot calls, I know that my site is in extremely trusted hands.

How often do you plan to add new content?

Initially we didn’t expect the numbers we were getting in terms of the number of people visiting the site. The feedback and traffic has been wonderful and a welcomed surprise. As a result, we’ve had to make a lot of decisions very quickly. We’ve quickly moved from making 1-2 posts a day to a minimum of 2-3 posts per day. We expect to grow to about 5 posts per day by December and so on. We’ve just added two London-based contributors and we expect to add more contributors from around the world very soon.

Is there a long term plan for OliviaPalermo.com?

Yes, there is a long term plan for my site but, it’s very early in our launch. We want to get as much feedback from our audience and we want to remain fluid in our growth. But, overall, at the core of our site is the belief that my site will continue to be a go to destination for international tastemakers, myself and others included.

What goes into selecting your wardrobe for an event? Can you tell us about the process: does it start with a pair of shoes, clutch, piece of jewelry?

Yes, it actually does start with a particular item. Is it always one particular type of item? Not necessarily. It could be a clutch one day, a piece of jewelry the next day, a wonderful pair of shoes the next day. I find an inspirational piece and then I start building around it. I’ll start giving some advice about this process on my site as well. I’ll also have other stylists contribute their ideas on how women should approach selecting a wardrobe for themselves. The process is very individualistic, as its always best to consider your body type and what colors work best on you.

Accessories are always such a highlight in your styling. How many bags would you say you have amongst your collection?

Accessories are the perfect way polish off a look. It’s the details that are special. The bag I use most would be my VBH Brera double zip bag. It’s a perfect everyday bag. In addition to that I have a collection of statement bags and those that are simple. My Hermes clutch, for instance, is an easy way to polish off a look with one of my favorite things.

Daphne Guinness has a personal database with inventory of her wardrobe. How do you keep track of what’s in your closet?

It is important to make sure everything is clean and organized and categorized. Whether it’s a closet or anything else! Because I travel a lot, it’s really important to keep my closet organized. I organize my closet by colors, shoes, seasons, and an added special touch of pull-out jewelry drawers that keep my accessories organized. OliviaPalermo.com will also feature a “Living Tips” section, which will give recommendations from myself, my staff, and interior decorating experts on how best to organize your life and your surroundings.

Rumors have circulated about you launching your own collection. What would you design first?

Designing a collection is something I hope to do in the future. For now I have my hands full with my site and modeling, and being an editor for Piperlime.com and consulting. But yes, designing is a love of mine, and it will come when the timing is right.

  • Great interwied!!

  • great interview and i have never seen such a personal emotional picture of the beautfil olivia.

  • love it. especially the picture of the beauty looking so fragile and personal.

  • Great interview! Am so looking forward to seeing how OliviaPalermo.com develops over the coming months – would like lots of closet organisation tips from the master! And that picture of her is just beautiful.

  • AnaSaintLaurent

    REALLY GREAT INTERVIEW!!! Love Olivia so much, she’s always on the top!

  • jimjam

    i wouldn’t consider that a great interview. she didn’t specifically address half the questions you asked.it was just plugging her site (which is her f’ing name) over and over and over again.

  • DLauren

    Wait what is the name of her website again?