Mara Hoffman

Tonie Ong

Shop Mara Hoffman Collection

Mara Hoffman Collection

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They say female fashion designers have it more on the nose than male designers. Because they designed for the fellow female, women designers understand what she wants and need, not only to look good but to feel great as well. Meanwhile, male designers are said to have a more fantastical approach to designing for women. Their pieces are usually a lot more elaborate, dreamy, and more the ideal woman from a man’s perspective. While there is credence to such an argument, it’s not always the case. Some female designers prefer to have a bit more fantasy in their clothing, while a few male designers see the practically modern women need. However, some women have combined both in their brand identity, including Mara Hoffman.

Mara Hoffman is known for her wild prints and sexy swimsuits, but also for the simple and practical silhouettes of her designs. She knows the modern woman wants to be comfortable and able to move freely in her clothes, but she also understands her need to make an impact. This is what Hoffman’s clothes do: provide comfort and make an impact. It’s a design hybrid only a few designers, Hoffman included, have mastered and have established in their own lines.

Sustainable Fashion

Apart from their vivid yet comfortable designs, Mara Hoffman boasts a brand of sustainability, combining both social responsibility and style. Firstly, a huge part of their materials are mostly organic, ones that are made without harming any facet of the environment. They’ve also made use of recycled and regenerated fabric, promising not to waste a single thread of material on their new designs. The brand has also partnered with numerous organizations that are also devoted to making fashions in a sustainable and socially-responsible way, including Canopy, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Organic Cotton Accelerator, among others. By such collaborations, their widening their entire approach to fashion to truly be sustainable.

Models walk runway for MARA HOFFMAN at Lincoln Center, New York City.
Models walk runway for MARA HOFFMAN at Lincoln Center, New York City. Credit: Sam Aronov

Straight from school to fashion fame

In 2000, Mara Hoffman opened her eponymous brand in New York City. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in the same city, one of the most prestigious design schools in the world. During that time, the trendiest styles were either minimalism or grunge. However, Hoffman’s style was far from both. Hers was more colorful, vibrant, and bohemian. With such unique and impactful designs, Hoffman quickly gained the notice of many in the fashion press. They loved her prints, all etched on comfortable yet sleek silhouettes. Her signature style was comparatively far from what other fashion brands were offering at the time, so it was easy for Hoffman to stand out.

Eventually, Hoffman rose to prominence, becoming one of the most renowned fashion brands in New York City. She also showed at New York Fashion Week, and soon became a key show during the entire event. When her sustainable practices and collaborations were made public, the mainstream consumer audience embraced her even more. Soon, she was able to venture into other categories, such as swimwear, bridal, and childrenswear. From a small eponymous shop in New York City, Mara Hoffman became an indelible American lifestyle that is now embraced in the entire world.

Mara Hoffman Presentation held during Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week.
Mara Hoffman Presentation held during Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week.


Among her many pieces, Hoffman’s swimsuits are arguably the most iconic and best-selling. In the mid-2000’s and early 2010’s, she re-popularized the one-piece swimsuit by offering it in wild and psychedelic prints in vibrant colors. They came in animal print, geometric prints, and colorful florals. Her swimwear is show-stopping, and many women loved them. This young and vivacious spirit also spilt over to her bridal collections. Hoffman became known for creating bohemian-esque wedding dresses, complete with contrasting embroideries and free-flowing silhouettes. Apart from her swimwear, her bridal dresses also became the pièce de résistance of her namesake brand.

Mara Hoffman bohemian-esque wedding dresses
Mara Hoffman bohemian-esque wedding dresses

Activewear line

Today, one of her most successful lines is her activewear line, which was launched back in 2015. She infused her bohemian designs onto athleisure, creating an array of colorfully-printed tops, leggings, and leotards. The timing was perfect, as around the same time it was launched, people were getting back into fitness. Soon, because of social media, Mara Hoffman became the most seen brand in digital history, Celebrities and social media influencers frequently showed off their Mara Hoffman activewear pieces when posting of their workouts online. Through such, the brand’s awareness expanded tenfold and was soon bought by other women in various other countries. The activewear line has since become a staple label for fitness experts, gurus, and coaches.

Comfort and couture-like designs need not be separated, according to Mara Hoffman. Her modern and vivacious designs are embraced by the fashion press and the mass consumer audience alike. She, along with only a few designers, achieved combining both fantastical fashions with practical comfort, to the glee of many female customers around the world. Her designs are also youthful and fun, which is a step away from the more rigid and mature refinement high fashion is known for.

Places to Shop for Mara Hoffman

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