With clients like Reese Witherspoon, Ali Larter and Eva Mendes, it’s obvious that fashion designer Mary Alice Haney has Hollywood’s leading ladies on her side. Mary Alice launched her own line of glamorous evening wear, HANEY, in 2013. Today, Mary Alice is sharing the ins and outs of her business, plus some of the wisdom she’s gained by working in the fashion industry.
In addition to launching HANEY, you’ve worked as a celebrity stylist and fashion editor. What sparked your interest in the industry?
I was always interested in fashion. As a little girl, I would trace over the models and clothes in Vogue. I was an art major and got a master’s degree in design. However, it wasn’t until I worked at Harper’s Bazaar in Paris that I realized I could make a career out of it.
What made you decide to take the leap and create your own line?
As a fashion editor and stylist, you are always designing a moment. As a stylist, you care about the fabric and brand name just as much as the way something looks on the client. I realized I could take that knowledge and create an amazing line.
How would you describe the inspiration for and aesthetic of HANEY?
We blend the laid-back vibe of Los Angeles with the glamour of Hollywood. Our clients are comfortable in their own skin and don’t mind being sexy. They want to be comfortable and glamorous at the same time.
All of HANEY’s pieces are made exclusively in Los Angeles. What are some of your favorite places in L.A.?
We create everything downtown, and I love working down here. I go home to the beach with my five babies and I love the juxtaposition of both worlds.
What essential pieces should every woman have in her closet?
A great black dress and a great pair of black pants.
What’s always in your bag?
Hand sanitizer and my iPhone.
One of them was when we launched on Net-a-Porter.
For those hoping to start their own business, what advice would you give?
If you follow your heart and do what you love, success will follow. Also, hire people who are smarter than you in areas you know nothing about!