Bell by Alicia Bell
Alicia Bell and Sylvie met in the summer of 1994 during a fashion summer program through Parson’s School of Design in New York City. They were 17 and quickly became best friends. Their shared love of fashion, design, and adventure brought them close and encouraged one another to pursue their ambitions and, ultimately, build their own businesses.
In honor of Sylvie’s vibrancy, passion, spirit, and their deep friendship, 10% of proceeds from the sale of a Sylvie-inspired Bell blouse will be donated to SCMP. View the Sylvie shirt and entire Bell line.
Alicia reflects on her nearly 20 year friendship with Sylvie:
Sylvie made me laugh so hard. She was probably one of the funniest people I have ever known. She was so full of life and fun and hard work. We had both met in New York to follow our big dreams of becoming fashion designers. We had such an amazing summer together taking classes and sharing a dorm room that we decided the next summer we would go to Paris and take the Parsons Paris summer fashion program. Once again we were following our dreams and that was such an exciting time for us living in Paris, studying fashion and hanging out.
Sylvie worked so hard and I so appreciated her drive to succeed. Once the summer was over, we both came back to America and went our separate ways, Sylvie back to Marymount and me to NYC to continue my studies at Parsons. We spoke almost every week and remained such good close friends. Sylvie would come out to NYC and visit me from time to time and then finally, after graduating, she moved to NYC and start a job at Marc Jacobs. We were still so close and finally living in the same city!
Eventually, after successful positions at Tommy Hilfiger and Victorias Secret, Sylvie opened her own line, SYLA, after finding passion in swimwear design. It was an amazing time for Sylvie. She was so happy and was living the dream she always wanted and worked so hard for. SYLA was doing amazing right up into the economic crisis and it was an incredible blow when it ended due to its backers pulling out. I was so sad for Sylvie during this time but she had such strength to keep going and find different ways to bring SYLA back. She didn't give up. She kept going, still fighting to follow her dreams. She had such an incredible spirit about her. She was so incredibly beautiful on the outside and even more beautiful on the inside. She also had such a love of animals and helping people. And, of course, she always had that incredible sense of humor, always laughing and joking around. Her incredible laugh will be missed so much ...though there are many times in my day that I hear it and it brings a smile to my face.
Our friendship lasted 18 years right up to the day that she passed on. I will never forget Sylvie and the great adventures we took, the laughs we shared, the movies we watched, the times we cried, the jogs we ran, the walks we took with our dogs, the frustrations we shared about being designers, the money we spent shopping together, the fights we had, the many concerts we attended with front row seats jamming out to Dave Matthews Band, the times we traveled, the mischievous things we did. There will never be anyone like that in my life again, a friendship that spanned two decades from our late teens to our early 30s. This friendship will follow me my entire life and I will always share my memories of Sylvie with my son and daughter when they are at the right age.