Jill Biden Catapults Fashion Designer Alexandra O'Neill Into National Spotlight

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday January 20, 2021

Fashion influencers and political junkies alike have been waiting to see what designer first lady-elect Dr. Jill Biden would wear on inauguration day. New York City-based Alexandra O'Neill's brand Markarian has taken top honors. But who is O'Neill, and what can we expect from Dr. Biden's fashion choices in the next administration?

O'Neill founded the luxury women's label in 2017, naming it after "a particularly radiant grouping of galaxies," according to the brand's website. O'Neill's grandmother taught her to sew, and that attention to detail has been a trademark of her made-to-order luxury evening wear.

For inauguration day, O'Neill's design includes a blue jacket chosen to "trust, confidence, and stability over a "tapered dress with a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt," as reported by InStyle.

"My grandmother taught me how to sew at the age of 10. From then on, I started designing and making clothing with her help. Growing up in rural Colorado, we had no neighbors for miles in any direction," states O'Neill. "At night, when we turned out all the lights in the house and looked outside, all we could see was complete darkness and the light from the stars in the sky. If I looked long enough, I would always see at least one shooting star. The sky that I saw when I was young was infinite, and that is what I loved most about it. The magic of those childhood moments still inspires me."

Since its launch, Markarian has quickly become a favorite of Hollywood A-listers and has been word on the red carpet by Lizzo, Kerry Washinton, Kate Hudson, Thandie Newton and others. O'Neill has also partnered with the likes of Christie's Interiors and Swarovski for high-end fashion collaborations.

Here's a look at some of our favorite Markarian fashion moments:

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's Senior Editor, Features & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.