IT’S A BALMY SUMMER DAY IN NEW YORK, but despite the heat, Olivia Palermo arrives on set exuding the type of pulled-together style that she’s built her personal brand on. No detail is overlooked — regardless of the weather. In a relaxed silk blouse, floor-length Stella McCartney skirt (held in place by a skinny belt — an OP-signature) and printed flats, the 29-year-old greets the room with enthusiastic hugs. She’s recently returned from a holiday in Capri with her photographer-model husband Johannes Huebl, and her composed demeanor is awash in a post-vacation glow.
“I’m always travelling,” beams Palermo, “and I wouldn’t want it any other way.” This isn’t particularly surprising. Between global collaborations, cover shoots and her fashion website, she has her hands full.
Palermo’s path to style icon was a logical one, thanks to a command of refined dressing that was instilled at an early age. “My mom has always emphasized the importance of being well-dressed,” she says. “Even if you wake up for a flight at 4 am, you should still be polished because by the time you land, your day has started and you should always look appropriate.” It’s that appreciation for precise, polished and on point looks that has turned Palermo into an international style muse. In many ways, she’s the original street-style star — and an obvious choice to help showcase the season’s desirable romantic attire.
ALTUZARRA DRESS. $2,715. SKU: 4303100681
ALTUZARRA JACKET. $4,620. SKU: 4303100582
MANOLO BLAHNIK BOOTS. $1,595. SKU: 4303075198
LANVIN SHIRT. $1,870. SKU: 4303137378
OSCAR DE LA RENTA PENDANT. $460. SKU: 4303090312
DOLCE & GABBANA SKIRT. $2,075. SKU: 4303159679
CHLOÉ BAG. $2,090. SKU: 4302966454
CHLOÉ SHIRT. $3,450. SKU: 4303146957
CHLOÉ SKINNY SCARF. $225. SKU: 4303146825
CHLOÉ PANTS. $1,030. SKU: 4303147013
“Even if you wake up for a flight at 4 am, you should still be polished because by the time you land, your day has started and you should always look appropriate.”
In 2011, Palermo channeled her travel smarts and élan for the fashion industry into the website oliviapalermo.com. “Whenever I was travelling I had friends ask me where to go and what designers to check out,” says Palermo, “so that’s mainly why I started the website. It’s also a great avenue for me to support and showcase emerging [design] talent.” Her tight-knit team has one motto: If you can’t be nice, you can’t work us. “There are so many nice and talented people in the world,” says Palermo, “we don’t need to waste our time working with someone who isn’t.”
Aside from supporting (and befriending) up-and-coming designers, Palermo makes a point to collaborate with brands that she feels strongly about. Her collection with Westward Leaning sunglasses, for example, helped to put the burgeoning brand (that donates a portion of proceeds to various charities) on the map.
Self-Portrait Dress. $514. SKU: 4304275177
Oscar de la Renta Necklace. $950. SKU: 4303090098
“There are so many nice and talented people in the world. We don’t need to waste our time working with someone who isn’t.”
“With online fashion and social media, people are shopping differently, retaining information differently and thinking differently,” she says. It’s the reason she’s opened up to the idea of embracing Instagram, something she admits she’s never had too much of an interest in before, because as much as Palermo is the epitome of a modern-day fashion icon, she maintains a certain elusive air.
VALENTINO SWEATER. $2,690. SKU: 4303227294
MICHAEL KORS SKIRT. $1,095. SKU: 4303503660
MICHAEL KORS BELT. $350. SKU: 4304913819
“Tokyo is one of our favourite cities. One time, we decided to take a week and explore the city on bikes. Now I feel like a local when I go back.”
It’s Johannes who’s the social-media guru in the family. “He loves his Instagram,” says Palermo, “and he’s very good at curating his feed.” It was her husband who came up with the weekly #SundaySelfie posts too. “I can’t believe how they’ve caught on,” she says. Though we’re not surprised; they’re the type of posts that #CoupleGoals are made of.
The pair, who’ll be celebrating their eight-year anniversary in November, are one of New York’s (if not the world’s) best-dressed power couples. They met through mutual friends and were married last June in a small, private ceremony in Bedford, New York.
VALENTINO DRESS. $5,290. SKU: 4303227039
“We’re both so busy all the time, but we’re never separated for more than seven days,” says Palermo. “Tokyo is one of our favourite places to visit. One time, we decided to take a week and explore the city on bikes,” she says. “Now I feel like a local when I go back.” Not only do they travel the world together, but also work in jaunts with fashion legends like Mr. Valentino Garavani, with whom they vacationed in Mykonos, Greece a few years ago.
As the shoot wraps for the day, Palermo’s hardworking and helpful demeanor shines on, lending a hand to tidy up the craft table. “It’s a shame these sandwiches will be thrown out,” she says. And without hesitating she offers, “I’ll take home a few for Johannes. He’ll love these.”
OLIVIA’S BEAUTY MUST-HAVES
When Olivia Palermo puts her stamp of approval on a trend (or product, for that matter) the style set takes notice.SHOP NOW