For Mara Hoffman this summer is all about celebrations and clothing to match — from weddings to garden parties, tropical vacations and evening soirees, her latest collection calls to all manner of occasions.
In the spirit of exclusivity, you’ll find something for everyone, with dresses and two-pieces that range from demure through to revealing, in both exotic and classic color palettes of black and neutrals. Cleverly, pieces have been designed to be dressed up or down, maximizing the wears and so, echoing the brand’s sustainable ethos, lengthening a garment’s life span.
Mara discusses the cornerstones of her label and long-term ambitions for her company.
Felicity Carter: What was your first memory of fashion?
Mara Hoffman: My first big hit was around 7 or 8 years old when the movie Splash came out. I was in love with mermaids but it was the scene when Daryl Hannah’s character was wearing Tom Hank’s character’s suit that I was blown away. A mermaid in an oversized man’s suit was just about the perfect definition of what would form my vision around fashion. It was perfection. Still is.
FC: How, when, and why did you get into the industry?
MH: After I graduated from Parsons School of Design in ‘99 I began my line. I had no real interest in the “industry” itself, I was just passionate about creating. I made one of kind pieces by hand and it was my way of creating art and expressing myself. I grew a business out of that and found my own niche within the industry.
FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic?
MH: A mermaid in a men’s suit.
FC: What is luxury to you?
MH: Well-made things or experiences. Things that last and create ease in my life.
FC: What are the cornerstones of your company?
MH: Kindness, care for the planet, the people, and all the living things, creativity, and beauty.
FC: Which was the first-ever piece that you designed and how did it come about?
MH: I was eight years old and made a skirt for my mother for her birthday. I hand sewed about 20 buttons onto a piece of fabric that wrapped around her body. She wore it with such pride for her entire party and I felt so seen and at home with this new way of creating for others.
FC: What is on your current mood board?
MH: Art, ‘80s Gaultier, flowers, spirals, and psychedelics.
FC: Currently, which is your favorite piece and how do you wear it?
MH: The Monte Pants are my current obsession from the collection. They are named after my father and the Dockers he wore in the ‘90s. They’re made from recycled cotton, which is very exciting and fit like a relaxed trouser. I wear them close to every day.
FC: What are the long-term goals for your company?
MH: To continue expanding our sustainability efforts at every turn. To continue to make our company a healthy and loving place to work and grow in. To grow our circularity practices, and be in full ownership from creation to end of life of all that we put out into the world.
Shop the brand at leading retailers including Moda Operandi, NET-A-PORTER, and MatchesFashion, and via marahoffman.com.