Bright colors, neon, and to-die-for prints: That's what Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim attendees have anticipated each year since Mara Hoffman, the queen of tribal print, first presented her swim collection on the runway in 2009. Now a Swim Week mainstay, the New York designer debuted her 2015 collection on Saturday evening. We talked to Hoffman about the nerves, the inspiration and, of course, the prints.
Your runway show is always the most buzzed-about at Swim Week. How do you draw the crowds each year?
MARA HOFFMAN: I feel the pressure for us to outdo ourselves each year, but when it comes down to it, all I can do is be a channel for creativity and harness the light to create more awesomeness.
What are the hot swim trends for 2015? MH: Bright colors, a high waist, and surf references.
Walk us though your design process. MH: First comes the inspiration and conceptualization. From there, we start with prints because they have the longest lead time; then we work on embellishments, and finally we create the silhouettes.
What did you change in your 2015 line from the previous summer? MH: We create a new line of prints each season with color being a huge factor. Our use of color is something that will always stay the same. It’s part of our DNA.
How can we take the trends from your runway show and incorporate them into our summer wardrobes? MH: There are tons of pieces in the collection that expand past the beach or pool. Our cover-ups can be worn during the day or even out to dinner. I also like to think of bikinis as great tops that you can layer. Personally, I wear bikini tops as bras and totally encourage others to explore it as an alternative, too.
What do you wear all summer? MH: I’m always wearing a great sarong or scarf. I wear one everywhere; inside or outside. I’ll use it as a skirt, a turban, a way to cover myself from the rain. I’ll even lay it out as a blanket on the beach. There are endless uses for a sarong.
When you're in Miami, where do you relax and dine? MH: I'm a beach girl, so give me a comfy chair and I'm good to go. My favorite places to eat are Nobu or Mandolin Aegean Bistro.