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NEW IN TOWN: Designer Stacey Bendet just made her first-ever trip to Japan to celebrate the opening of Alice + Olivia’s first freestanding store in the country. Located near Tokyo’s funky Harajuku district and on the fashionable avenue of Omotesando, the store encompasses 1,615 square feet spread across two floors. It is decorated in Bendet’s signature whimsical style, with details including black and white checkered floors, leopard print rugs, retro furnishings, and wallpaper featuring women’s stockinged legs in a diamond pattern.

On the eve of the store’s Friday opening, Bendet mingled with journalists and posed for photos with fans at a party in a nearby lounge and event space. The designer, sporting a top hat adorned with colorful jewels and netting, said she has been enjoying her time in the Japanese capital, and looking forward to doing some shopping on Friday.

“It’s like a dream come true to be opening a store here, and hopefully we’ll open more stores,” said Bendet, who also mentioned that she was enjoying seeing the way Japanese women dress.

“I really am inspired by them, because there’s such an incredible mix of elegance and fun, and that’s always kind of what I think about when I’m designing,” she said. “Women here, they’re not afraid of a little whimsy, they’re not afraid to express themselves, but they’re also very sort of chic and refined, and I think that combination as a designer is kind of what you aspire to make and what you want to be.”