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Mara Hoffman is the kind of designer who has acolytes, fans even, more so than customers. Her particular approach to sustainable fashion exceeds single designs to become more of a lifestyle. So a venture into the home category makes good sense.
Hoffman took that leap with the help of West Elm, with a 28-piece collection that hits retail today. Done up in a calming, neutral palette, as well as black and white, the line encompasses furniture, lighting, accessories, and textiles.
After spending most of her adult life in NYC, the designer has more recently been living a more nature-centric existence in Upstate New York, which informed her new interiors offerings and how they're made.
The collection is created using organic cotton, faux shearling made from recycled polyester, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved wood. "West Elm and I share a clear alignment and ethos around care, approaching manufacturing with the least amount of harm—the planetary and human-centric side of creating,” Hoffman says of the partnership.
But the intention behind the collection goes even deeper than mindful manufacturing. “Designers and artists can bring people into a place of greater ease and peace, rather than create more instability and waste," Hoffman explains. "We have this important job to be deeply intentional with what we create in order to help people feel better. When people feel better, they call in experiences that match that feeling. When you wake up and connect to something that makes you feel a higher frequency of beauty and love, you tend to see that in other people."
Shop the high vibe line now and hear more about Hoffman's inspiration, how her approach to design differs from one category to the next, and other travel destinations, beyond Upstate New York, that bring that good energy.
What was your inspiration for the collection?
The inspiration drew from our existing MH collections, translating the feeling of the brand into a home collection, and my forever inspiration for all things: Nature. It was a melding of worlds and also an invitation to apply our design sensibilities to objects as opposed to garments.
How did your time Upstate influence the collection?
As for many of us, the pandemic landed us in our homes and surrounding environments, forcing us to sit in our spots and actually be where we were. We came to the agreement to do the collaboration in the summer of 2020, truly in the midst of the “being home” time of all of our lives. I was able to spend that time within nature and in a home that was safe with my family. I spent so much time really living with my environment that now in hindsight it feels like it was the perfect time and place to work on this collection.
I also have cultivated a deep relationship with the trees around where I live. I take long walks and talk to them, sometimes I sing to them and thank them. From that relationship, I feel like I’ve tapped into a deep line of creativity and inspiration. In short, the trees are my co-creators on just about everything these days.
Why was West Elm the ideal partner for a home line?
We are huge fans of West Elm’s long term and committed efforts to their sustainability practices. As leaders in their industry, there was a trust built into the relationship from the start. They also work with beautiful materials and their creative team is amazing!
What was the process of making the collection sustainable like?
We knew from the beginning that we were aligned in our approach, from environmentally-responsible manufacturing to the human-centric side of this work. Because both of our brands are already deep in this work, it was really just about communication.
Have you always been interested in extending into the home category?
Yes, definitely. I love the relationship between objects and the space they inhabit. There is always a conversation between the physical and energetic fields and how we live within that. Home is my favorite place to be and I love being surrounded by beauty. I used to care more about what I wore but now I definitely care more about my home and how it feels.
How does your approach to design align and differ in ready to wear versus home?
I think that my approach to design always stems from the same place. It’s a feeling and a vision for connectedness, peace and celebration or reverence for nature and life. I want to create things that make people feel better. We honestly don’t need much more of anything as far as material items go, so everything that we design needs to be purposeful, well-designed with the planet and all living things in front of mind, and with the clear intentionality to uplift.
What are some iconic spaces you love?
This summer we traveled to one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, a 14th century monastery in Mallorca, Spain. Everything from the soft curves in the white walls to the plants and stone floors were just breathtaking—a reminder of the genius of design when in harmony with nature.
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