Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chatting With NYC Womenswear Designer, Mara Hoffman

Mara Hoffman has to be one of the coolest fashion designers on the scene. Well known for her prints, particularly the use of tribal prints in her designs, the Manhattan-based designer began her line in 2000 and has grown into not only a household name, but a household favorite. While she offers complete womenswear collections, she is the queen of swimsuits. They are all simply amazing. If I could, I would buy every piece she has ever designed.  Perhaps after a few of my books get published, I'll do it! I recently was able to catch up with Mara Hoffman and she spilled on what's currently in her purse, what her runway shows are like backstage, and where she loves to eat in NYC.  Enjoy! 

Sarah Davis: Your work is often described as mystical.  What is the meaning behind some of your references to third eyes, Mayan references, etc. in your work? 
Mara Hoffman: I love mystical, cosmic, esoteric subjects, and symbolism. The all seeing eyes are for protection and vision. Who doesn’t need a little more of both??

SD: We're obsessed with your swimsuits here at Style & Wisdom, but you've recently said your line is so much more than that. Can you explain that a little and how it will factor into your future endeavors? 
MH: Well, I was a RTW line before a swim line so the swim has roots in RTW. Also, I look forward to  expanding the entire vision and really turning the brand into a lifestyle brand including homeware and even a kid’s line!

SD: Who or what has been your biggest fashion inspiration? 
MH: I’d say travel, and the exploration of indigenous people.

SD: What is a typical runway show like for you? Calm, chaotic, right in the middle? What is one secret that goes on backstage at a Fashion Week Runway show that no one would ever guess goes on? 
MH: I try to keep it as calm as possible backstage. Basically, if it’s not done by the time you’re there it’s not going to get done. It’s also about a really solid team…

SD: You are a crazy successful designer and you're a mother, how do you balance it all?  
MH: It can be tough. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who is truly my partner and the best father ever.  I try to create balance but it can be hard. I feel like a mother to 2 separate families: my actual son and my business.  I am passionate about both so it inspires me to keep going.

SD: Favorite spot in New York City to grab a bite? 
MH: I love Souen.

SD: What is a trend right now in fashion that you love? Something you hate? 
MH: I love wacky prints. I’m not really a hater.

SD: Tell us a little bit about your upcoming Resort Collection. What can we expect from it? 
MH: A casual cool mini collection with a tropical twist!

SD: What is your personal style? 
MH: Super duper casual with some MH touches…

SD: What type of woman do you design for? 
MH: I like to think that I design for a wide range of women.  We try to include pieces for the daring sexier ladies as well as a bit more conservative. The common thread though would be that she has a love of color and really enjoys dressing. The pieces are meant to be mini celebrations that you can wear!

SD: Can you give some tips to the young female entrepreneur or fashion student who hopes to be at the level of success you are at right now some day? 
MH: It’s about learning how to focus and surrender and knowing when to apply both. Devote your self full-heartedly to the thing that you love and your vision and stay POSITIVE.

SD: Celebrity crush? 

SD: What's in your purse right now?
MH: A big mess. Hairclips, baby binkies, receipts, almonds, cell phone charger, etc etc..

SD: Finally, your own personal words of wisdom (in life, love, or success)? 
MH: Today’s thoughts equal tomorrow’s reality. Be a magician and manifest a beautiful life. It’s ours for the taking.

Image Credits: LoveLaceLuxe
Special thanks to People's Revolution.

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