Designer Mara Hoffman exudes a certain spirituality—a quality that is refreshing in the fashion industry—and her penchant for inner peace and all that is otherworldly shines through in her Spring ’13 collection. Hoffman, who is best known for her bold prints and swimwear, titled her Spring range Aloha, which, according to Hoffman’s kupuna (i.e., her elder guiding figure), means “the presence of divine breath.” It also happens to be the Hawaiian word for love, hello, and good-bye. “I felt attached to the spirit of the word,” said Hoffman, noting that she appreciates its simultaneous simplicity and complexity. Hoffman united all aspects of aloha in a short Spring film, which, shot by Neil Krug and styled by Richard Ruiz, starring Phoenix and featuring music by E*Vax and White Wizard.
“The goal was to share some aloha love with people and also capture the essence of being a ‘warrior of light.’ I remind myself every day to ‘be light,’ and wanted to bring that into a visual realm,” Hoffman said. “If anyone could get what I was going for, it was Neil. After we wrapped, we laughed about how we’re both seen as these cosmic weirdo hippie types. In reality, we’re both down-to-earth and hardworking animals.” As far as the final cinematic result, Hoffman jokes, “It’s a little out there, but so am I.”