Designer Mara Hoffman Makes Art Basel Debut

Designer Mara Hoffman who is best known for her ethereal bohemian resort wear and swim collections will be in town this Thursday to kick off her first ever pop up shop at Art Basel 2011. We chatted up the New Yorker fashion mogul on why she is using a 1964 Airstream Trade Wind and Tepee for her pop up shop, what is was like creating limited edition apparel with other artists and what we can expect in her Fall 2012 collection at New York Fashion Week.


Why did you decide to set up a pop up shop during Art Basel and why did you select the Mondrian and Pulse Miami ? I’ve been coming to Art Basel for many years because my husband is an artist and for the past few years I’ve thought it would be the perfect time to do something like this. Both Mondrian and Pulse Miami are really the perfect fit for this pop up shop/installation. There is also so much cool stuff going on there during this week so we were excited to be part of the action. 

What was it like collaborating with other artists to create these limited edition pieces on your swimsuits and leggings? It’s been fun. I am friends with three of the artists involved and happen to be married to one as well. I also teamed up with a close friend, Michelle Tillou from Kinz Tillou Fine Art in NYC, who co-curated the project with me. We had fun working with one another and trying to put together the perfect collective of artists. I’ve really enjoyed working with other people’s work as far as creating prints because normally create all of our own prints.


Regarding your collaboration, what sorts of prints can we expect to see? Everything from a collage from Javier Piñón, a group nude photo by Spencer Tunick, and paintings by John Newsom, Eddie Martinez, and Maya Hayuk.

Art Basel has become quite a fashion event over the years. Why do you think art and fashion fuse together? They’re a natural match. I think fashion people have always looked to art for inspiration and now more and more art people look to fashion for inspiration.

Compared to other designers and brands, your pop up shop is quite unique. How did the idea of a mobile pop up shop like a vintage 1964 Airstream Trade Wind and 9 Ft. Tepee come about? We definitely wanted to do something different and something to reflect the spirit of the brand and this specific project. It was a group effort pulling the ideas together and manifesting it. I worked with Michelle Tillou and Jaqueline Nguyen of Muse and Drudge Inc. to create this concept.

In addition to the pop up shop, you are offering a braid station so attendees can get those coveted locks your models are often seen in. How come ? Who doesn’t want to get their hair braided after purchasing some rad new swimsuits? I just think it’s one of those cool additions that add to the fun of the whole experience.

Every year, you bless us with your designs at Mercedes Benz Swim Week. Why do  you like bringing your fashion to Miami ?  Miami in July is the place to show your swimwear collection.We love coming to do shows here. It’s a great break from NYC and it’s a different vibe all together from showing in New York . Who doesn’t love the weather, the beautiful beach and the Cuban food?

How do you balance work, being a mother and have free time and what do you like to do with your leisure time? Leisure time?? Ha! Haven’t seen that in many months.I try to balance, but it’s tough. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who besides being an awesome artist also happens to be the world’s greatest dad

As far as designs, you were amazing during Swim Week and we loved your Mexican themed resort wear at NYFW. What’s next in the fashion world for you? Working feverishly towards our Fall 2012 show for February in NYC. As far as inspiration goes think magic carpet ride.


Mara Hoffman’s Pop Up Shop

When: Thur, Dec. 1 – Sun, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Mondrian, 1100 West Ave., Miami Beach, 305-514-1500; Everyday except for Friday where it will be at PULSE Contemporary Art Fair at The Ice Palace, 1400 N. Miami Ave.


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