New York Fashion Week Preview: Designer Q&A

Tomorrow marks the first official day of New York Fashion Week and one of the most important weeks of the year for the fashion community — from the models who line the runways to the editors and bloggers who rush around the city reporting each collection. Of course, one must not forget the designers themselves, without whom Fashion Week would be meaningless. For a teaser of what is to come in the following days, we interviewed two NYC-based designers by email who will be showing their coveted collections this week at Lincoln Center.


No stranger to New York Fashion Week, Mara Hoffman grounds her womenswear collection in bold colorful prints and textures that span the globe and encompass dozens of different cultures and lifestyles. Blending the spirits of diverse regions and landscapes with her laid-back bohemian aesthetic, her ever-expanding brand has taken off in recent years to include successful Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer and Swimwear collections.

Photo vis Zimbio
Photo vis Zimbio

VV: What were some of your global influences for this particular collection? (For example, F/W ’14 was inspired by Northern Africa.)

MH: I was feeling a West Coast vibe for the Spring ’15 Collection.

VV: You are known for your bold and colorful aesthetic and use of prints. Can we expect the same for this season?

MH: We’re playing with a lighter color palette this season – more lights and brights.

VV: The most recent collection (F/W 2014) featured much darker colors and structured pieces than in past years. Can we expect any more pleasant surprises like this for the season?

MH: That’s always my intention each season – to keep surprising and evolving my customers as I do a designer.

VV: What do you envision your S/S ’15 girl to look like? Who is she?

MH: Bright, fresh-faced and laid-back.

VV: Describe the S/S ’15 collection in 2 words.

MH: Light and fresh.


With a keen eye for tailoring and the modern New York woman as his muse, Jay Godfrey creates his womenswear line by bringing edginess to the classic female silhouette. Through the mixing of eco-conscious textures with various fashion eras, he finds harmony with the looks and styles of the past and elevates them into the present.

Photo via Zimbio
Photo via Zimbio

VV: What are some of your key concepts for this collection?

JG: We wanted to evolve the Jay Godfrey girl, while still staying true to her roots. The season’s silhouettes are focused on longer lengths that are still body conscious; fringed western and cropped tuxedo jackets, jacquard and lace tuxedo pants, bibbed shirting and ponchos all are key design elements of the collection.

VV: Are there any particular influences for the upcoming Spring 2015 collection?

JG: The collection was inspired by rock ‘n’ rollers who infused country and western into their music in the late 60s and early 70s – it is a glamorous take on classic western Americana.

VV:  Your previous collection did not include any animal-derived materials. Is that true for this current collection as well?

JG: Yes. We use vegan leather but no real animal-derived materials.

VV: Does this collection follow your traditional aesthetic, or should we expect some surprises this season?

JG: Yes, we definitely stayed true to our traditional aesthetic, though we have evolved certain elements. One surprise, which is completely new for us, is the incorporation of denim into the collection!

VV: Describe your Spring collection in 2 words.

JG: Electric West.


Gianna Collier-Pitts is the Violet Vision Editor of the Washington Square News. Email her at

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