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Olivia Palermo: Mixes and matches her own style

FOR those not familiar with the name Olivia Palermo, think of Blair Waldorf in the teen drama series "Gossip Girls."

Visiting Shanghai last month for a fashion event, the New York socialite is often compared with the character "Queen B" for her Upper East Side background and sophisticated personal fashion style.

But the 25-year-old daughter of a real estate developer father and interior designer mother doesn't seem to like the comparison and declined to answer questions about it.

In fact, she's more like a modern day Barbie doll who has a perfect figure, a dream wardrobe, a great career (she has been a model, an actress in MTV reality show "The City," a fashion editor at ELLE Magazine and a designer) and, last but not least, has a handsome boyfriend.

Her partner, model Johannes Huebl, recently teamed up with her to shoot a campaign for Spanish high street fashion brand Mango, which, according to fashion's "it" girl, is one of her favorite brands.

In daily life, she enjoys mixing the "high and low" ends of fashion, just like most professional fashion editors.

On her first time in China, she talked to Shanghai Daily about her sense of fashion, her favorite designers, what she reads on her Ipad 2 and gave useful style tips for girls this spring/summer.

Q: You've worked as an actress, a model, a fashion editor and a designer. Which do you like the most?

A: I like them all. You really get to understand the industry from every perspective. I have also worked in public relations for a while ... But for me, I love modeling the most.

Q: What is your personal style?

A: My style is relatively classical, with a modern twist. Accessories are extremely important to me. Everybody thinks it's the clothes that make an outfit, but more often than not it's the accessories.

Q: You successfully launched a jewelry line with Roberta Freymann last year. Have you ever considered starting your own fashion line?

A: The jewelry line did really well. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do next with designing, but I will keep that open.

Q: Where do you usually go shopping?

A: I shop all over. I do most of my shopping on my travels and I think that finding unique pieces definitely helps fill the closet - I like to incorporate a little bit of everything from different countries.

I love to go to flea markets, vintage stores and small boutique shops, as well as high street fashion chains.

Q: I noticed your Ipad 2 ... have you ever shopped online?

A: I tend to look more online than shop online. I think that the idea of online shopping is fantastic for younger designers because their clothes become accessible to everyone. Online shopping is really driving the fashion industry these days ... but I haven't bought anything online yet.

Q: So what do you do with your Ipad?

A: I use my Ipad mostly for reading newspapers. I read world news.

Q: Who are your favorite designers?

A: Jean Batista is amazing, Rachel Roy, Valentino, the younger designer Frank Tell. I think it's important to look to younger designers because they will grow and stay with you, and you want to see the designers grow with each collection.

Q: What is your favorite fashion item ... that you have already, but still keep buying?

A: Shoes and blazers. I like everything tailored. A well-tailored blazer is a staple piece in my closet.

Q: Who are your fashion icons?

A: Fashion icons ... probably just really chic girls that I see on the street all around the world, and also old Hollywood glamor.

Q: How do you like being called a modern day fashion icon?

A: That's a nice compliment, very sweet. I think I just dress for myself. If people happen to like my style ... I'm very happy.

Q: How do you decide what to wear every day?

A: If I'm home, I start with one piece that I'm feeling to wear, and then go from there. It really depends on the spur of the moment.

Q: What would you suggest as a "must-have" fashion piece to buy this season?

A: Color. I'm always so into color. I'm actually obsessed with the Mango dress I'm wearing. I will have to buy it.

Q: When you are not working, what do you do to relax?

A: Johannes and I play tennis together, and we also watch a lot of movies. When I'm home, I tend to do bikram yoga which is a great way to balance yourself.

Q: How do you keep fit?

A: I have good genes from my parents. I ski quite often during winter. It's also very important to eat healthy, have balanced meals.

Q: What was it like working with Johannes for the Mango photo shoot? Have you two worked together before?

A: It was fantastic. Johannes and I are each other's biggest supporter. We enjoy working together, and photographers love to see the chemistry between us. And yes, we have worked together before - I'm very happy that we can.


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