Designer Spotlight: Mara Hoffman
First off! Take us back to the conception of your PS18 collection. Can you tell us about the design process? (Where do you start? A color palette, materials, theme?)
There are all of these moving pieces in the air and the creation is the final product, but you’re just a vessel for that creation. I believe that an artist or a creator doesn’t always need to know what their end goal is going to look like. I know that my end goal is a Resort 2018 collection or a Fall 2018 collection, but I cannot see it holistically until it’s done. You put yourself into the work and create what’s meant to be created, tweak it, and then send it out into the world.
I wanted this collection to feel like Pre Spring, but to still be wearable on the colder days, so there are a lot of bright knits. It was important that each piece was created to be special, that each piece has its own character and story as part of the greater whole.
Three words to describe Mara Hoffman PS18 collection? Who do you envision wearing your pieces?
Colorful, Conscious, Engaging. I see this collection worn by creatives, thinkers, movers, and makers. I see it on the artists, on the people organizing and changing the game.
Tell us about your studio space and neighborhood. How does your community influence your collections?
The studio space is right off Union Square, my whole team is there and so is our showroom. It’s built mostly from repurposed materials, bits and pieces of framework, glass, and salvaged wood from the Brooklyn Navy Yard and an old school in Scranton. We have growing walls, plants all over the office, and windows all along one side, so we have a lot of natural light coming in. It’s a special space that’s grown and moved with us; it’s seen intense cycles of push and pull, challenges and revitalization.
My chosen community is that of many women, the continuing thread of inspiration for each collection. It’s a community invested in sustainability and invested in change on a social and environmental level. My community is a huge part of the inspiration and a huge part of why we do what we do. The more that I get to know them, the more that I’m able to create for them.
We know that design is only a small part of running your own business. What do you love most about your job that has nothing to do with design?
Being with people all day that I care about and sharing this life with people who’ve come from different places, have different backgrounds, and different talents. I like solving problems and being challenged. Every day, you’re asked to be better than you were the day before.