It’s perhaps not uncommon when you hear that a major celebrity has launched a fashion line all their own. However, you’re less likely to assume that a regular member of the A-list has trouble finding what they want in the market, especially with their level of access. That’s essentially the story of how Rooney Mara launched Hiraeth.
The line of clothing and shoes, which launched earlier this month, is a project inspired by Mara’s own vegan lifestyle. “I have been vegan for about seven years now, and when I decided to also transition my wardrobe into being vegan, I found there was a real lack of options of higher quality pieces,” she tells us. Hiraeth—a Welsh word that translates roughly to the feeling of homesickness—is the result of Mara taking matters into her own hands, along with her business partners and friends, Sara Schloat and Chrys Wong.
With a collection that’s dedicated to being entirely animal-product-free, Hiraeth not only impressed shoppers with its elegant, elevated designs when it released in Barneys New York this month, but it’s also already sold out. Thankfully, there’s more to come from this slow-fashion line, and below, we got the scoop from Hiraeth’s three leaders on the brand’s point of view and what we can expect next.
The hardest fabric to find a vegan alternative for:
Mara: “I would say a replacement for wool has been the hardest thing to find for us. And I didn’t realize just how many things contain wool—even if just a small amount.”
Schloat: “People also equate wool, cashmere, and silk with quality or ‘expensiveness,’ so it’s a challenge for us to find beautiful fabrics that people will love just as much as cashmere, for example. Luckily, we have found a few vendors who make beautiful textiles. And we are always searching for more fabrics that meet the criteria we are looking for.”
It’s not about the trends:
Mara: “I don’t really care about trends. I am more interested in things that will last, things that feel modern but also classic. We want people to keep our pieces and be able to wear them over and over.”
Wong: “To me, trends having staying power often embody elements that transcend color, prints, or silhouette. Quality, texture, and clean lines will always have a place in a woman’s wardrobe. And those are the things we keep in mind when we design. Any element of surprise is mostly just a feeling, something that makes us want to get dressed every morning.”
Designing and fashion weren’t always in the cards for Mara:
Mara: “I’ve always liked clothes and liked fashion, but I never had any aspirations to have a clothing line. It really came out of my own need and then wanting to provide another option to people who felt the same, as well as encouraging more people to consider buying animal-free as an alternative, even if they aren’t vegan.”
The biggest breakout pieces so far:
Wong: “Our Ophelia dress, a feminine dark green mesh dress made from Japanese tech fabric, is sold out everywhere, mainly because it is a very versatile dress that is appealing in an understated way.”
Schloat: “And people are also really gravitating to the Camille dress that Sadie Sink wore at PaleyFest. They are both beautiful, romantic dresses, so that isn’t a big surprise. We are also getting great feedback on the faux-leather Moto jacket, which is a really pleasant surprise. We were worried that some people would hesitate to buy into the concept of faux anything, so it’s great news to hear that people are responding positively.”
Hiraeth has a bigger goal beyond just beautiful, quality clothing:
Mara: “Hopefully we’ll get people to think about their clothes and their shoes in a way they haven’t before. We are disconnected in so many ways from the things that we wear and buy and eat; I wanted to do something that might make people more conscious of where their clothes and shoes come from, what they are made of, who made them. So many people’s lives are affected in that chain.”
Up next, take a look at what New York women are buying for their “back to school” shopping.