As someone whose obsession with uber-produced reality shows dates back to airings of Dan and Jessi’s After Show, my love affair with Olivia Palermo (of The City fame) has been in full effect for the better part of a decade. Born of an outsider’s admiration for what I took to be the glamorous life of a fashion intern (lol), what struck me the most about Olivia was her unfailing ability to appear impeccably polished. It was only years later, as I was slogging through my own bout of internships (in supremely unchic undergrad attire, I might add), that I realized the true extent of effort required to always be flawlessly put together in an industry as hectic (and judgmental) as fashion.
Glossy hair, red nails, and an ensemble that is quintessentially unique—these are just a few hallmarks of an Olivia Palermo look. A quick flip through her catalogue of street style shots (of which she has a prolific amount) shows that this fastidious devotion to being “on-brand” has been present since she first stepped out on the scene. Whether it’s a frothy LBD and blazer pairing from 2007 or the recent print-on-print ensemble sported at Spring 2016’s couture shows, you get the feeling that her wardrobe is full of pieces that are intended to work together in multiple combinations—each with her signature slant of effortless Parisian meets Upper East Sider, of course. Statement accessories and an affinity for cool-girl footwear rounds out her oeuvre, which obviously spells click-bait for the style sites that heavily feature her, and alludes to her seamless transition from socialite to prominent industry influencer.
Fittingly, in addition to revealing her as our March cover star, herclothing line with Nordstrom also drops today, speaking to just how far this one-time reality star has come. When you think of Olivia Palermo, it hardly even registers that she was once painted as MTV’svillan-ess du jour. In fact, the whole notion seems almost absurd when you consider the empire she has managed to amass: a highly successful eponymous website (which boasts both editorial and e-comm content), brand collaborations with everyone from Aquazzura to Ciaté London, modelling gigs with Mango and Rochas, and, oh, a casual 3.1 million Instagram followers. That is to say, she is clearly in possession of far more gumption than the producers of The City would have had us believe (even though she still managed to have some of the best one-liners out there).
Click through the gallery for a sampling of some of her best looks throughout the years—we promise, there isn’t a hair out of place or errant wrinkle in sight.
By NICOLE SCHAEFFER