When Hassan Pierre goes to art fairs like Art Basel Miami and Frieze, he’s not just there to see the latest art, stop by the fashionable galleries or watch the beautiful international travellers perusing the collections. No, Hassan Pierre and his partner Amanda Hearst attend because their unique fashion brand, Maison de Mode, is an art fair attraction in itself. Since officially making a debut at Art Basel (Miami) a few years ago, the multi label boutique specializing in innovative ready to wear fine jewelry and accessories from the world’s leading luxury is a regular presence at selective art fairs, retail boutiques, film festivals and political events.
Brands must meet certain sustainable and ethical criteria. For example, garments must be artisanal or hand-made from recycled materials in the U.S., and created under fair wage and safe working conditions.
Though not immediately apparent, Maison de Mode is different from its neighbors in fashion. The designers Hassasn’s brand carries must meet certain sustainable and ethical criteria. For example, garments must be artisanal or hand-made from recycled materials in the U.S., and created under fair wage and safe working conditions. Since its debut, both Vogue and Town & Country have written about Maison de Mode and its unique founding concept.
Hassan took some time to sit down with us and answer some questions we had about his business.
We launched our first boutique during Art Basel Miami Beach at The Soho Beach House in Dec. 2012.
BWB: How did the idea for Maison de Mode evolve? When were you founded?
I design my own luxury women’s label, Way It Should Be, which is sustainable and specializes in vintage couture fabrics. Amanda had written a story for Marie Claire about my sustainable fashion, so I decided to approach her about possibly opening a boutique that only specialized in luxury ethical fashion. She loved the idea so we did our first shop, which was widely successful. We launched our first boutique during Art Basel Miami Beach at The Soho Beach House in Dec. 2012. We eventually opened a second, then third shop and here we are today.
BWB: How did you get connected with Art Basel and get all the great publicity? What events have you done?
My family collects art and it is a very important for me when gaining inspiration for my collections, so it was a natural fit to open with them, and during such an exciting time. They had a very minimal fashion element before, so that allowed us to receive such great press and recognition. We’ve done Art Basel, Frieze Art Fair, Oscar Week and the White House Correspondents Weekend in DC.
We are a traveling concept boutique. The only constant space for us is our newly launched e-commerce platform.
BWB: This “pop up” concept… are you the first to do it? Do you have retail stores now or just “pop up” locations?
Yes, in that we aren’t an established brand or retailer popping-up to introduce our site to different markets. The concept of our boutique is to constantly travel and open our shop in different cities around the world. We are a traveling concept boutique. The only constant space for us is our newly launched e-commerce platform. After that we continued to open our curated boutiques around the world during highly recognized cultural events.
BWB: Is your brand trying to make a political statement, fashion statement, or both?
Both, our mission is to prove there is no greater luxury than sustainability.
BWB: What materials do designers use that are “ethical”?
We have a code of ethics we ask our designers to follow. Each brand’s items are then tagged with the respected icon so customers know what is ethical about their product. maison-de-mode.com
BWB: If I were a customer and wanted to buy clothes, could I buy from the website or at the pop-up locations? How would I know that you have a retail location opening up?
Yes, our website offers our customers the ability to shop our finally curated selection of ethical fashion 24/7 from where ever they are in the world. Moving forward, our pop-ups, like our current NYC shop – located at Seaport Studios at 19 Fulton St – will last between 4-6 weeks. Our current store opened Oct. 23 and closed Dec.10th.
In 2016 we have plans to open doors in Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco.
BWB: I notice these are made in America – but you’re a French company?
We are a US based brand but my family has French roots so that is how we came up with the name.
No other retailer offers our curated selection of luxury ethical fashion.
BWB: Are you the only company doing ethic, sustainable, and eco-friendly clothing of this sort?
Yes, we are the world’s leading luxury ethical fashion destination. No other retailer offers our curated selection of luxury ethical fashion.
BWB: What are your plans for the future?
Our HQ is in NYC but we do have plans to introduce one or two flagships in the U.S. down the road. As a retailer it’s important for us to use both the physical and the digital space. This is 100% the way of the future of fashion. Sustainability has gone from a superficial marketing tool to a greater reality today.
BWB: Are “fashionistas” particularly ethical and socially conscious? Does this appeal to them?
Yes they are; most women we know these days are not air-headed fashion zombies. They’re educated and knowledgeable about what they wear, where they eat and where they shop. Some designers represented by the brand include Amour Vert, Okapi, Tempest & Bentley, Way It Should Be, Azlee, and George Frost.
Lisa Stahl, a native New Yorker, has authored many articles that graced the cover pages of magazines and websites. She’s the author of two distance-learning courses on fashion and has contributed substantial research and content on politics and foreign policy to three books by a political analyst and adviser to Hillary Clinton. Lisa’s achievements include an MA in English with honors from Columbia University. She also studied piano at Juilliard.