Alexandra O'Neill founded luxury womenswear label Markarian in 2017. Named after a particularly radiant grouping of galaxies, Markarian combines Alexandra’s love of celestial romanticism with timeless design and modern grace. Alexandra fell in love with making clothing when her grandmother, GiGi, taught her how to sew at just 10 years old. Markarian came to life from Alexandra’s notion of designing clothing that is whimsical and playful yet wearable and beautifully made. Each special, romantic, and ethereal piece is thoughtfully made-to-order in an effort to reduce waste. Designed and produced in New York City, Markarian has a strong belief in supporting the fine craftsmanship that the New York Garment Center offers.
Since its inception in 2017, Markarian has quickly become a celebrity and fashion editor favorite. Alexandra uses her unique perspective to create luxury evening wear that is both modern and striking, perfect for eye-catching occasion wear. The brand has been worn by high profile celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Beanie Feldstein, Constance Wu, Felicity Jones, Kerry Washington, Laura Dern, Priyanka Chopra, Lizzo, Thandie Newton, Andie MacDowell, and many more. Recent brand project highlights include Markarian’s collaboration with Christie’s Interiors in 2019 and partnering with Swarovski for the Fall/Winter 2020 season.
On January 20th, 2021, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden wore a custom Markarian dress and coat to the inauguration of her husband, President Joe Biden. The outfit was designed, produced, and hand-finished in New York City’s Garment Center by Alexandra and her production team. Alexandra is incredibly humbled to have been a small part of such a historic moment.
“My grandmother, GiGi, 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. 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. I often think it is that magic that led me to focus on antiquities in college - the romantic notion of mythology and the human desire to create sense of the workings of the cosmos." – Alexandra O’Neill