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Designer Diary: Mara Hoffman’s Postcard From Miami Swim Week


Miami Swim Week comes to a close today, and on Saturday, New York-based designer Mara Hoffman sent her collection of mysticism-inspired maillots down the runway. Here, Hoffman takes us behind the scenes of her show and shares some personal snaps from her trip exclusively with

Mara Hoffman's latest swim collection

When we arrived in Miami for Swim Week, we got right to work on the show. We only had two full days to pull it all together. This season, the collection was inspired by mythology and the mysticism of India. We wanted the show to be a celebration of color and vibrancy, and Miami is the perfect place to do that.

Mara Hoffman's makeup test

Our first day was full of castings, and hair and makeup tests with Nick Irwin from TIGI and Lori Taylor from Smashbox. We decided on a third eye tattoo as part of the makeup look, which we actually made ourselves.

Mara Hoffman's accessories

The day before the show, we had fittings from morning to night. My stylist, Richard Ruiz, and I sorted accessories, which are from a collab that we did with the Web site L-atitude. They are awesome Indian tribal bracelets and necklaces that were inspired by vintage-market finds in Jaipur, India.

Mara Hoffman on the beach with her family

It’s show day! Because our call time isn’t until 5 p.m. and we worked so hard the days before, we hit the beach, family-style. Some major clouds, but who cares! I also have time to get some custom friendship bracelets made for the hubby and me.

Mara Hoffman and her printed Mercedes

Five o’clock rolls around and it’s go time! Backstage is a flurry with hair and makeup, which are key to bringing the whole look together. This year I was honored to be named Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer. To celebrate, they actually custom wrapped a Mercedes-Benz E-Class convertible in our Astrodreamer print! I snuck out to snap a few photos with it before the show.

Models backstage at Mara Hoffman's swim show

Back inside, the girls get into the lineup. I prep them with a pep talk, telling them to lead with their hearts and let their radiance fill the audience. I explain that it’s their job to be Warriors of Lights (I also gently remind them that although we are in Miami, there will be no hip throwing or peace-sign popping at the end of the runway. Keep it cool, ladies!).

Mara Hoffman and her son

The show goes off without a hitch and they bring the light! Joaquin joins me at the end of the runway. He’s a natural.

Mara Hoffman at her after party

And it’s a wrap! To celebrate, we head over to the Delano Hotel’s pool for our after-party. After making a pair of custom Havaiana flip-flops, I take a moment to let it all sink in. The rest of the weekend is about relaxing and getting some time at the beach.

Designer Update