C California Style

Mindful Message

by C California Style

Rooney Mara’s Vegan Line, Hiraeth

“From the start, we were told that it would be tough to make a great vegan boot. But I didn’t accept that,” says actor Rooney Mara, describing the origins of her newly launched animal-free clothing label, Hiraeth. The 33-year-old Los Angeles-based creative, a vegan for the past seven years, says she recently started assembling a wardrobe that aligns with her values. What started as a small capsule project with a few core pieces, including the boots, is launching at Barneys New York as a full-fledged ready-to-wear collection complete with poetic slip dresses, trousers, blouses and jackets. Mara says the line—with a Welsh moniker that roughly translates to a yearning or longing for home—is a response to the current dearth of well-made cruelty-free clothing. “Everything has traces of wool or silk in it,” she notes.

Mara and her like-minded team—which includes co-founder Sara Schloat and eco-label veteran Chrys Wong—also selected local factories to produce the line to ensure ethical treatment for its artisans. “We decided on L.A. so we can get to know the people making the products,” says Wong, the brand’s chief operating officer. Together, the women are creating looks in line with their shared taste and Mara’s trademark style dichotomy, what she calls “my two opposing sides: very romantic and delicate, or boyish avant-garde.” As the line’s creative director, Mara calls Hiraeth a collective endeavor. “We all do everything. Some days I’m a fit model or we’re all packing FedEx boxes,” she says. But it’s the promise of innovation that truly fascinates her. “These alternative fabrics are where the future is heading,” Mara says. “It’s really exciting to see the possibilities.” barneys.com, hiraethcollective.com.