Red carpet-ready fashion is having a moment. More and more women are looking for access to high-end fashion in a ready-to-wear format.
Designer Mary Alice Haney knows the red carpet end-to-end. She’s worked with A-list celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Mendes, and Jennifer Lawrence, and served for several years as a fashion editor alongside the industry’s elite. Now, she’s launched her own fashion line created to exude the sexy contours of the female silhouette. Mary Alice sat down with IVY Magazine to discuss some of the challenges to crafting a luxury line and what makes HANEY unique in the fashion market.
How did your experience as a stylist influence your designs?
When I was dressing Hollywood stars—and there’s no actress I haven’t worked with—it didn’t matter if she was wearing Gucci or J. Crew. If she didn’t feel fabulous in her look, then it would not work. The fit and tailoring is the most important component of achieving this and my biggest priority when creating a new HANEY collection. My experience with working with all different body types and trying to guarantee the perfect look on a red carpet, with cameras galore has fed into my overall concept. I am so fortunate that many of my previous clients are now loyal HANEY customers! Notables include Reese Witherspoon, Molly Sims, Carrie Underwood, and Jane Fonda.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The absolute biggest challenge in establishing myself as a designer is that I have five children. Building a collection takes so much time and energy, as do five children all under the age of 13! I decided to create a culture that supported women like myself and allowed for the balance of both professional and personal lives. There are so many women who have so much to offer in the workplace, but can’t contribute because they’re raising their kids. Seeing moms be able to work and raise their kids at the same time has been huge for me.
We are also 100% self-funded. It is hard to decide where we spend our money, how do we get the biggest value for our investment, who do we need to hire etc.
What makes Haney different?
The HANEY collection induces confidence and sexiness. Each piece is created in-house using high-quality fabrics with an attention to fit to ensure both a figure-enhancing and flattering style. While the silhouettes look amazing on a young, trim model like customers Suki Waterhouse and Karolina Kurkova, we do cater to a range of body types and ages. Jane Fonda, Beyoncé, and Miranda Lambert are all customers and we have several woman in their 40s and 50s who rely on the HANEY collections to give them confidence when dressing up.
As HANEY is produced in Los Angeles, California, we aim to infuse the city’s easy, effortless glamour into each collection. There is so much movement in the LA fashion space—Burberry and Christian Dior just held their presentations here. I want to be at the forefront of that and create apparel that reflects everything I love about LA. HANEY is Los Angeles.
In addition, we’ve identified the direct consumer model that works. We want to provide a luxury experience for our customer. Women want to touch, feel, and try on clothing. By hosting trunk shows in key markets, we are able to speak directly to our customers.
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What are the biggest trends in the fashion industry at the moment?
Sexy is having its moment. We see so many women on the red carpet showing skin whether the high-cut leg moment a la Angelina Jolie or simply wearing sheer everything as seen on Kim Kardashian West, Jennifer Lopez, and Beyoncé at the Met Gala this year.
I really am loving the effect LA is having on fashion. So many reputable bloggers and influencers are coming out of LA (beyond Hollywood starlets). These people are having as much impact on trends and visibility as the major fashion distributors. I came from traditional media, so that’s a huge change.
What’s the best way for IVY Community to help support?
Check out our website and social media channels and attend our trunk shows! We have also developed a very healthy RTW business and currently are stocked on Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Scoop.
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