"My mom instilled in me at a young age how important it is to be properly dressed when you leave the house, no matter the time of day. Even if it's 4:30 A.M. and you're heading to the airport, you want to look and feel your best." - Olivia Palermo
Ahh, New York City in 2006 was a very different place. Post 9/11 and before the Great Recession, the city seemed incredibly clean and safe, banks were thriving, money was flowing, and socialites were doing what they did best…dressing up and partying.
On the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a real-life Gossip Girl was taking place and it involved some of the biggest socialites of the time: Tinsley Mortimer, Ivanka Trump, Olivia Chantecaille and Lydia Hearst-Shaw. The site was called Socialite Rank (I must admit I read it—it was entertaining). They’d rank the top 20 socialites, spread secrets, praise them, and then throw them under the bus for drunken antics at Bungalow 8, their Met Gala outfits or where they ate dinner. It’s also where Olivia Palermo popped onto the scene.
In 2007, Olivia was a 20-year-old college student and daughter of a real estate developer who found herself in the center of a scandal. Socialite Rank published a letter she supposedly wrote to five of New York’s most high-society socialites begging for acceptance, and it ruffled a lot of couture feathers.
“Dear Ladies,” the letter began. “I know some of you may be a bit surprised to receive an email from me, but I have been meaning to clear the air for quite some time and I ask that you bear with me, and do me the favour for reading this email.
“It took me a lot of courage to write this. I know I have gotten off on the wrong foot with many of you and there may even be some of you that do not like me,”
"I can also be a great friend. I am trust-worthy, responsible and discreet. I like to laugh a lot but I am also a great shoulder to cry on. I can hang uptown and downtown with the best of them.
"You all are a group of amazing, intelligent, beautiful, talented, well-rounded, kind and generous women and I would be honoured to have the opportunity to start fresh with you all and hopefully one day, call you my friends."
While Palermo denied writing the letter, it instantly shot her to fame…and the rest is fashion history.
Olivia came to national attention when she was cast as a villain on the reality show The City where she played Whitney Port’s BFF, worked for Diane von Furstenberg, and then in the accessories department of Elle Magazine. Her infamous eye rolls led to her being called one of the most hated people in the fashion industry, but her polished style influenced countless women.
She later appeared as a guest judge on Project Runway, signed with a modeling agency, landed on a few magazine covers, launched her own website, collaborated with various fashion and beauty brands, and became a Global Style Ambassador. Not bad…not bad at all for a young girl who allegedly just wanted to be accepted by the high-society social set. It seems she’s blown all of them out of the water, and off the lists!
Today, we know her as one of the top social media and style influencers, with around 6.4 million Instagram followers. She's also got a hot German model as a husband, an adorable dog, perfect hair and teeth, and an endless supply of effortlessly chic ensembles that make us green with envy.
Check out some of Olivia's best Fall looks!
Also obsessed with Olivia's star style? We've got some items we think she'd just love herself.
Shop Olivia Palermo-approved looks at LePrix.