(MIAMI) A highlight from Miami Swim Week that you may have missed, if you weren’t kicking it on South Beach for the past few days. New York native Mara Hoffman’s haute trippy aesthetic has been a consistent highlight of Miami Swim. This year, with a little help from Mercedes-Benz, she’s kicking into high gear.
BY DENA SILVER
Welcome back to Miami, Mara! Tell us everything.
I’m originally from Buffalo and went to Parsons in New York. I started my career after I graduated, and it’s been a long and interesting road of evolution and several reincarnations to get to where I am right now.
Talk us through it.
Well, I feel like it’s been a series of really proud and exciting moments at each level of evolution. We’re a brick-by-brick company. One highlight has definitely been doing this Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer collaboration. To see such an established and awesome company go this far with me and really embrace the collaboration has been really rad.
Do you remember your first trip to Miami?
I sure do. I was going on a cruise with my mom and we were in a little shop before boarding the bus and I saw Lady Miss Kier, from Deee-Lite. I was so starstruck because I absolutely worshiped her!
Now tell us a bit about the car you’ve designed for Mercedes-Benz. How did you come up with the pattern?
The print is from the resort swim collection that we’re launching in Miami. It’s called “Astro Dreamer.” It feels like a dream—there are serpents and geometric shapes that bring you into the cosmic, astro realm. They were so supportive and wanted it to be a true vision, as opposed to a processed vision. I think that’s what makes for the best collaborations and what made this whole thing so easy.
Have you always been a Mercedes girl?
One hundred percent! I actually have a Mercedes, and my parents also do. I’m a big fan of their cars.
You strike us as a frequent road tripper. Any crazy stories?
I’ve never gone across the states which I think I really should, but I’ve done crazy road trips in India. Crazy in the sense that we didn’t know if we were going to live or die, but I really love that country.
That’s pretty crazy! Any other exciting collaborations in the works?
I can’t really talking about any of them yet, but they’re very exciting. Look out world!
What else have you got planned?
Any plans for a brick-and-mortar store?
That, too. I’m really excited because it will give people a chance to see the world how I see it.
You’re partial to funky patterns. Will we ever catch you in an all-black ensemble?
Oh, totally. I’m a uniformed type of dresser, especially for work. When I go out at night, I try to wear as many of my own designs as possible, but I also love a black tank top and black jeans.
Does your wardrobe differ when you’re in Miami?
In Miami I can pull pieces from the collection that I don’t have the opportunity to wear as much in New York. Maybe I’ll even show a little bit of skin.
Where are you headed after this?
Straight back to New York to continue working on my show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
Your designs are sold all over the world. Do you have a favorite location?
I love anywhere you can be by the beach and buy a little bikini or a great little dress and actually wear it.
What piece from your new collection do you wear the most?
A funny little secret is that I wear our bandeau bikini as a bra every day. Yes, I’m the girl who wears bikinis as underwear. But it fits me perfectly!
Any other passions we should know about?
This will sound corny, but I’m passionate about my family. My son and my husband are my everything!
Who is the Mara Hoffman girl and where did you first find her?
I don’t think it was really about coming up with a concept, but more of just discovering who I am, and finding a natural and organic way to deliver what I believe in and what inspires me in this lifetime. It’s a very free spirited, Bohemian existence and a celebration of beauty and color and a little bit of weirdo-ness. It’s cosmic beauty!