Living in the country doesn’t mean you sacrifice style. In fact, for Alicia Adams, a family move from Germany to Hudson Valley, New York, in 2006 to start raising and breeding Suri alpacas was the decision that led to the birth of her luxurious fashion line, Alicia Adams Alpaca.
With a background in fashion PR, it’s no surprise being surrounded by the rare aplacas inspired Alicia to start designing handmade baby booties and hats from their wool. “Then my girlfriends came to me and said, ‘What else do you have? How can I have it? I want to wear it, too!’” Alicia says. She tried a few throws, capes, and soon began producing more and more chic, cozy wear. Now, her throws, soft sweaters, accessories, and darling baby rompers are sold at Barneys and her Millbrook, NY store.
Here, the designer talks about her fashion-forward country look, her closet favorites, and how life on the farm influences her design.
How would you describe your personal style?
Since I live in the countryside, I tend to dress casual but still fashion conscious. I’m a very practical person; I have 4 children, ages 13 to 20 months, and am always on the road. High heels or stilettos are not going to work for me; they’ll get stuck on every piece of gravel. But I still dress stylishly—wedge boots, skinny pants, and cozy tops—I love to layer. I like bigger scarfs that you can wrap yourself in. I also add in a bit of Bohemia with my accessories.
What's your daily uniform?
AG jeans with an Alicia Adams Alpaca sweater or cape with boots or sneakers. Layering is key for me—it’s freezing in the morning and then gets warmer throughout the day so I live in the capes and scarves that we make. My favorite from the latest collection is the Alana scarf (see photo below). And I love to accessorize with jewelry. I always have a long necklace on and tons of keepsake bracelets.
How does the way you dress inspire your work?
I like to conceive and design products that are practical and effortless but at the same time chic, which reflects how I prefer to dress. Luxurious, fuzzy, warm. I admire women who dress up in pant suits and dresses for work, but it’s just not me.
Where do you find inspiration when designing your line?
In my everyday life. Living in countryside is inspiring, but I also look at my friends who are very chic, classy, cool girls from the city. When they visit the farm, they all look fabulous in their weekend look. I listen to then, we brainstorm looks over wine, and I try to find out what feels most comfortable for them.
What's the most cherished item in your closet?
I have so many beautiful things in my closet, but I really love the vintage pieces I have inherited from my mother and mother-in-law: vintage Hermes scarves, vintage handbags, and fur jackets. These are precious hand-me-downs with a story behind each piece. I love listening to the stories—it makes me feel nostalgic and like I am part of the time that they wore it.
And what would we never find in your closet?
Finish this sentence, you can never have too many… scarves, capes—easy-to-layer pieces.
What’s the best way to hang or organize capes and scarves?
I like to fold and store alpaca products in breathable cotton clothing bags.
If you could design a no-holds-barred, no-budget dream closet for yourself, what would it look like?
A walk-in room with a lot of natural light, beautiful wallpaper, and every piece hung or folded properly. No double rows for shoes or handbags. and a puff or table in the middle to sit and lay out clothes. Lastly, I love accessories, so an incredibly organized dresser for my jewelry would be ideal. But I have 4 kids so it’s hard to stay organized!
Whose closet would you love to raid?
My friend (and interior designer) Emma Jane Pilkington! She is always so feminine and beautifully dressed as if she’s from another era.