Stella Accessories is a headband empire started by 21-year-olds Samantha Vigorito, Alexia Panza, Danielle Zuckerman and Taylor Sugrue (pictured, left to right). The four are roommates in Manhattan -- Danielle is a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and the other girls attend the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM). So how did these college girls get their designs in Henri Bendel and onto Gossip Girl and the Tyra Banks show? We interviewed Alexia to find out. I Heart Daily: How did you come up with the idea for Stella Accessories? Alexia Panza: Last year, the four of us were discussing Blair’s headbands on Gossip Girl, and how we could make something like them. That afternoon we ventured into the garment district and picked up feathers, trims and gemstones to experiment with. We all started wearing the headbands to school, and our classmates were asking if they could order one. When we set up small booths at our schools, we sold close to $1,000 in headbands! We created a website and viola!
IHD: What inspired this latest season's designs? AP: For our fall collection we were inspired by mixing delicate feminine pieces, like roses, with masculine pieces, like studs. We wanted to keep our designs very classy but give them a little rock and roll twist. Someone that covers much of our inspiration wall is First Lady Michelle Obama. To us, she emulates the perfect mix of class and trend.
IHD: How does it feel to have your line sold at Bendel's and worn on celebrity heads? AP: It is absolutely amazing! When we found out that we were going to be doing trunk shows at Henri Bendel we were literally yelling to each other with excitement. When Jessica Alba wore our headband, well, I think there may have been some tears in the room.
IHD: What are you guys up to this week for New York Fashion Week? AP: We plan on having international store buyers come to our showroom and view our spring collection. To be completely honest, our favorite part of fashion week is having a lunch break at school and sitting outside watching the models and celebrities enter the tents!