Olivia Palermo is our Style Icon of the Week—We Chart Her Rise to Fashion Fame


It was hard to follow our inaugural Glamour Icon of the Week, Rihanna, but we think we have a pretty good one here with one of your favorite It Girls, Olivia Palermo. We know you love the socialite/blogger/designer/TV star as much as we do—she’s on the guest list for all the hot parties, she has some seriously accomplished layering skills, and she looks just as amazing off the red carpet as on. Here, we follow her ascendance up the style ladder:

Let’s rewind back to the year 2006, when the well-heeled daughter of an Upper East Side real estate developer burst onto the scene. A graduate of the fancy pants Nightingale-Bamford School (the inspiration for Gossip Girl‘s “Constance Billard” girls’ school—author Cicily von Ziegesar is an alum), Olivia was discovered at a party by legendary New York nightlife photog Patrick McMullan. All it took was a picture and soon she was everywhere—like front row at New York Fashion Week. Here she is attending Project Runway season one winner Jay McCarroll’s show. Check out that baby face!

By March 2007 Olivia became a regular on the society party circuit. Here she’s working the black and white and a beaming smile at a Dressed to Kilt event.

At this point, Olivia’s star was on the rise (on the East Coast anyway) AND she was cultivating her red carpet pose, like at this film premiere after-party in 2008.

It’s kind of a no-brainer that MTV would come calling that year to cast her in Whitney Port’s The Hills-spinoff that we all know (and watched, admit it!) The City. Remember this episode when Olivia and Whitney were tasked with styling a look for Jessica Alba for a shoot? It was a pretty dramatic scene, but while we all know by now that “docudramas” are scripted to some extent, I personally can vouch for Olivia as being super sweet and demure in person—but reality TV aside, it’s no argument either way, the girl can dress!

By the third season of The City, Olivia moved on to perfecting those envy-inducing layered outfits.

By 2011, Olivia was a bonafide celebrity and fashion star. She racked up magazine cover shoots (Tatler, Vogue Mexico, and Marie Claire U.K. to name a few) and she started dabbling in fashion—modeling in campaigns, plus she designed a shoe with Stuart Weitzman. Of course, she made time to hit her old stomping grounds—Fashion Week—and wearing dressy shorts two years before everyone else started.

The rest is kind of history because it just keeps getting bigger and better for Olivia. Here she is this past May at the movie A-List-filled Cannes Film Festival, killing it on the red carpet in a majestic gold sequined Roberto Cavalli gown—layered under a graphic embroidered jacket by Zara. Damn, she’s good.

The fashion set has also embraced Olivia, here she is at the Oscars of Fashion, the CFDA Awards, glowing in an also gold tiered-fringe Dennis Basso dress. (And Zara booties and clutch!)

She even gets very special invitations to sit front row at Paris Couture Fashion Week. Here she is about to enter the Valentino show, elegantly posing in a dress-layered-over-a-shirt look à la Alexa Chung.

So there you have it! Any questions?


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