Female entrepreneurs are reimagining traditional 9-5 dressing – stuffy suits no longer equal cool and in control. We meet three business women who’ve found a personal style that conveys confidence and authority. Here, we speak to Alicia Rountree about her workwear in this month’s issue of IMAGE magazine.
Scouted in London at the tender age of 17, Mauritius-born Alicia Rountree went on to front many campaigns for brands including Gap, L’Oréal, Ralph Lauren and Victoria’s Secret, as well as appearing in the fashion pages of both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Now, after making the career switch to restaurateur and successfully opening the trendy New York eatery Tartinery, Rountree has her culinary sights set on LA, Miami and London.
I feel it’s important to always look groomed and put together, but with a cool edge.
I want to represent our restaurant chain Tartinery as cool and relaxed, but with a pinch of sophistication. I like adding accessories to simple outfits to give them a bit of power, like a statement bracelet or necklace from my sister’s label, Oceana Pearls. I always wear a few of her wrap bracelets, as they work with any outfit. I don’t think you can go wrong with statement vintage Chanel pieces. I like simple, clean lines because they reflect the aesthetic of my business too. Tartinery has an industrial chic look. Simple materials such as brick, metal and reclaimed wood are used for an uncomplicated but polished finish.
My go-to labels are The Row for clean cuts, Chanel for instant glamour, Mother Denim for jeans, and Balmain for tailored jackets. Being comfortable makes me feel empowered at work, so my go-to look is high-waisted dark skinny jeans, a simple T-shirt from my good friend Marissa Montgomery’s brand, Rotten Roach (rottenroach.com), and a statement belt I borrowed from my mother’s closet, which she wore in the 1980s. Being an entrepreneur in a creative industry gives me a lot more flexibility with what I wear. I have the opportunity to show my personality, whereas working for somebody else means conforming to a company’s aesthetic.
When I was younger, I experimented with different looks. I wore ripped jeans and sneakers one day; the next, a mini skirt with boots or leggings and an oversized sweater. Now I know what looks good and what fits well to my body, as well as the image I want to project. I’d say my look today is far more grounded and grown-up than it used to be. I’ll still wear ripped jeans, but with an elegant heel.
DESCRIBE YOUR WORKWEAR IN THREE WORDS Elegant, trendy, strong.
YOUR LAST PURCHASE? A MacBook Pro.
YOUR SIGNATURE HANDBAG? A Céline micro luggage bag – I can fit so much inside!
SHOES BY? Chanel. I love their espadrilles.
PROFESSIONAL ICON? Jessica Alba. I think what she’s done with her Honest brand is incredible.
FINISHING TOUCH? Sunglasses.
THE APP YOU CAN’T BE WITHOUT? Uber.
STATEMENT OR FINE JEWELLERY? Always a Rolex watch.