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Trendsetters: Mara Hoffman

Jacqueline Lee/E!

Take a look at any of Mara Hoffman's designs, and you know that she's all about uninhibited imagination. As a Parsons School of Design graduate and a CFDA member, she clearly has the designer chops to create compelling garments, but it's her refreshing bohemian flare that sets her apart from the crowd. Oh, and also her covetable swimwear, which the likes of Jessica Simpson, Jenna Dewan Tatum and Kourtney Kardashian have all been spotted wearing.

This spring 2016 season, Mara's whipped up another dreamy and free-spirited collection inspired by none other than Willie Nelson (and more precisely, his "Blue Skies" track and those famous braids). For all the scoop on the new collection, read on to hear straight from Mara herself.

Trendsetters: Mara Hoffman

Jacqueline Lee/E!

What was your first job in fashion?
I had internships throughout college but I started my company my first year out of school, so I was my first real job.

What was your first New York Fashion Week like?
I was doing off-site shows and drum circles—they were creative and out there.

When designing your line this season, what were you sources of inspiration?
Willie Nelson!

Do you have any rituals or superstitions you always follow the day of your runway show?
I burn sage or Palo Santo backstage for their energetically cleansing and healing properties. 

When do you pick out your own outfit for your runway show? And what do you usually like to wear?
I typically like to create something new for myself, my husband, and my son from the same fabric - if you know us, we're a matching kind of family. It works for us. 

Describe your upcoming collection in three words: Sunny, funny, money.

Mara Hoffman, NYFW Best Looks, widget

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

How do you pick music for your runway shows? Is there an artist/song you've always wanted to feature?
I work closely with an amazing music dude, Ben Brunnemer. He's been our guy for years—he creates the best show playlists. My artist and song for this season are Willie Nelson and his 1978 rendition of "Blue Skies."

What's your thought process when selecting hair and makeup for you models?
It depends on the theme of the collection. I work very closely with our key hair and make-up leads each season. 

How do you celebrate after the runway show?
An intimate after-party with friends and family.

Do you watch other designers' shows? If so, which ones will you see this year?
I rarely ever have time, unfortunately, but I always follow-up online.

What was your favorite collection that you've ever shown at fashion week?
They're all pretty special and signify a different growth period and vision.

What fashion-week essentials are always in your bag with you?
Excedrin, Juice Press ginger fireball suckers, a Herkimer diamond and quartz crystal and Sierra Granite Backpacker cologne.

Mara Hoffman, NYFW Best Looks, widget

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Trendsetters: Mara Hoffman

Jacqueline Lee/E!

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… 
a salmon maki roll, gazpacho, and an iced tea.
My usual coffee order is… a latte the size of my head, please.
The snack I always have on-hand is… an apple.
My favorite place to visit is… my house in upstate New York for a quick, relaxing weekend getaway.
My favorite accessory is… my beaded necklaces from Peru.

Trendsetters: Mara Hoffman

Jacqueline Lee/E!