Mary Alice Haney launched her eponymous line just two years ago, and has already racked up an A-list roster of fans including Reese Witherspoon, whom she considers a close friend, Chrissy Tiegen, Shay Mitchell and now Taylor Swift. Swift has not only worn Haney on the red carpet (at the GLAAD Awards), but also on girl's night out—for Gigi Hadid's 21st birthday parties in L.A. and New York. Haney thanks her past as a celebrity stylist for knowing what women want to wear on and off the red carpet and keeping her connected to top stylists today who request her camera-ready clothes. We caught up with the designer to chat about her new fan and what's next.
How would you describe the Haney girl in 3 words?
Mary Alice Haney: Sexy, California, Glamour...There's definitely an ease to her, there isn't a preciousness about the clothes. She doesn't want to be fussy. She wants to walk into a room and have all eyes on her—no matter if she's 25 or 60. She's confident.
What inspired you to start your own clothing line?
MAH: My whole career was in Los Angeles, as a West Coast editor, then a celebrity stylist. And I design with L.A. women in mind. It's the idea that every woman should look as good as Taylor Swift does when she's heading out to a red carpet event. I think that's why other stylists have really responded to my line, because you throw it on and you're going to look glamorous.
You have a great celebrity clientele—how'd you feel when you saw Taylor Swift stepping out in your clothes so often?
MAH: I wanted to burst into tears when I saw Taylor in that one-shoulder dress. I'm loving Haney for Taylor's new look. She's such a doll—she's the sweetest thing you've ever seen. I think people have always seen as sort of a teeny bopper for a while—but the hair and her stylist Joseph Cassell are really helping her evolve.
And a little extra help from Haney.
MAH: I love the red carpet moments, but I love that the girls are also wearing it for a fun night out, like the one-shoulder dress and the lace jumpsuit. Taylor wore our classic Gia dress to the GLAAD Media Awards, and Chrissy Teigen actually also wore it she was 10 months pregnant; it just really shows you the versatility of the dresses. I think from the beginning I was always thinking of my client as wanting that red carpet moment. So many celebrities embraced this from the beginning because their body is going to look amazing—no tailoring.
The line is starting to evolve beyond just red carpet looks now, right?
MAH: Yes, we started off with red carpet moments, but now we want to dress the Haney girl for all aspects of her life.
What other celebrities would you love to see wear Haney?
MAH: Definitely Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner.
Whats next for the brand?
MAH: Working on holiday/resort right now—making sure the collection takes the Haney girl throughout her life. We have some ideas of where we'd like to expand, but right now I'm really focused on doing what we're doing right now to perfection. We're putting a lot of focus on our website, and making sure we have a direct-to-consumer client, and that we can service that girl who wants to go on Haney.com and get something customized. Maybe she sees Taylor in that blue gown but wants it in red—so we want to offer that luxury to our consumers. We're also working on a few collaborations soon, so stay tuned for that.
What's the best part about being an L.A. designer?
MAH: Well, because we're based in L.A. and we're season-less, we're not really adhering to the fashion calendar. You can call it pre-fall, but basically we're designing our collection for when it launches in stores—it's the right season for you to buy. I always felt like it was a silly way to shop, buying coats in the middle of the summer.
Follow Marie Claire on Facebook for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.