We caught up with the founder of Peace Love World to talk about how she incorporates sustainable practices into her everyday routine and what it's like to work with Oprah.
When Alina Villasante started hosting parties in her living room for the sake of getting friends together to distribute her trademark graphic tees, little did she know that her conceptions and attitudes would parachute into Peace Love World, a million-dollar, Miami-based business of positive energy—not to mention catch the attention of Oprah and Pharrell Williams. Last year, Villasante got to collaborate with both superstars; she created the exclusive Peace Love Oprah collection sold to attendees of Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend tour, and worked with Pharrell to design a limited-edition collection of T-shirts.
One thing is certain: Peace Love World is not just about the clothes. Miamians and celebrities (like Mila Kunis) alike are drawn to Villasante's philosophy of inspiring women to give back while looking and feeling comfortably chic. With Earth Day upon us, we asked the entrepreneur to tell us what's next and share her tips for going green:
Congrats on the continued growth of Peace Love World. What are some new projects you're working on? ALINA VILLASANTE: Peace Love World is in its sixth year, and 2014 was one of the most exciting since we started. I got to work with two of my favorite people, Pharrell and Oprah. Going on tour with Oprah was such an inspiring, fulfilling experience, [and] one of the best in my life.
In 2015, we’re continuing to grow in a few directions. We also launched our NBA collection for the fashionable female sports fan. I’m so excited about the new designs we have created for all 30 NBA teams. In spring 2015, I debuted my first namesake collection, the Alina Villasante Collection. It’s a representation of how far I've come as a designer, and at the same time, a response to demand from our customers. It’s the silk blazer you layer over your favorite Peace Love World tee, for example, with your favorite jeans and stilettos, and a fabulous purse.
Not only do you promote a message of love and peace through fashion, but it's also a way of life for you. What are some ways that you spread love and positivity in your day-to-day life? AV: It’s no secret I love a good mantra—I created a brand to put all positive affirmations I love on clothes. I really believe in the meaning of one of my favorite sayings, “Love is not something you look for, love is something you become.” The whole world is searching for love, for something that they must become themselves first: love attracts love. Giving back is something I take as a personal responsibility; it's an outlet for me emotionally and a driving force behind Peace Love World. I choose to give back in creative ways to causes that are close to my heart, like Haiti relief, autism, and childhood and women’s cancers [and] I make myself available for speeches and events to support them whenever possible. To be able to have fun while doing good is a gift.
Oprah and Alina Villasante.
Earth Day is around the corner—is there anything you do to make sure you and your family are more eco-friendly? AV: Caring for your environment is just as important as caring for the people around you, and little things can make big differences. It may sound cliché but we try to be mindful and not wasteful. At the office, I ask everyone to think before they print; almost everyone has a PLW water bottle to refill and help eliminate plastic waste—and all of our cardboard packaging is recycled.
What are some tips you have for going green? AV: Set a goal that’s realistic. For example, bring reusable bags to the grocery store or even shopping. We have reusable shopper totes that we like to give as often as possible rather than paper shopping bags.
Do you have any special plans for Earth Day? AV: My favorite place to be is at home with my family. I love sitting on the dock looking out at the water and the city, enjoying the sunset. It’s a great place to reflect on everything we are blessed with, so that’s probably where I will be.
When you aren't designing, what are some of your go-to spots in Miami for good food and drinks? AV: I love going to Soho House because the food is great and I love walking along the beach; it’s what keeps me grounded. I love Pubbelly for sushi, IceBox for a healthy lunch, and I always stock up on JugoFresh when I go to our Miami Beach store. It’s [also] always nice to sit outside at Nespresso for a coffee before a good movie.