It was a little over two weeks ago - I found myself running frantically around the tents of The Raleigh Hotel, headquarters of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim, trying to make it on time for the interview of the day. As a TV host and journalist, I am constantly faced with the dilemma of scheduling, choosing coverage, and making it on time for all the events I overbook myself for because – let’s face it – I don’t want to miss anything, or more importantly, disappoint anyone.

However, there is always that one designer you wish to see, that one collection you know you cannot skip, that one question you must ask, and for me Mara Hoffman embodies all of those (just check out her amazing collection below)!

Mara is one of the most recognized and beloved swimwear designers in the industry. Her love for bright colors, unique prints, and that laidback bohemian-chic vibe, has made her one of the most sought-after designers during Swim Week. Everyone, who is anyone or wants to be anyone, covets a spot at her show and looks to get invited to attend.

I have been fortunate enough to interview her multiple times, and watch her reinvent herself and grow her brand, and she never fails on bringing it to the runway. Here are some of my favorite looks, including the tropical-inspired hairstyle with braided palms, brainchild of TIGI Catwalk's Nick Irwin.

All in all, it has been an honor to be part of that journey, and that is why I’m sharing with you 2 minutes on behalf of LOOKBOOK with the ultimate cool chick - Mara Hoffman!


What can you tell us about your new Swim 2015 collection?
This new collection was inspired by Guatemala, a recent trip I took there with my family over the New Year. I just took the things that inspired me, and put them through the Mara Hoffman filter, and that brought us to this!
Guatemala? Does that mean you are finding inspiration in the Hispanic culture?
The textiles, the art, the connection to color. Yeah, definitely a fit for me.
Are there any other parts of the Latin culture that you like?
Yes, I married a Cuban and my son is half Cuban. I’m a fan of Latin American culture. Amazing food, warm people, appreciation of being alive and life – sexiness and an absolute connection to their culture.
What are your thoughts on dressing the Latin woman?
I think there is bit more fearlessness in Latin women, but in the end, it does come down to who you are. Everyone’s different. But for them, it’s generally more about embracing yourself and femininity, and really going for it.
Miss Mara backstage, goofing around with the models.
When it comes to fit, do you think there is a big difference between Latinas and Western women?
Oh yeah! I think Latin American women are more comfortable with their curves, although I do think there are plenty of Western women who are too. I love women who embrace their bodies. I try to do it with myself and encourage other people to do so as well. I mean, we are women and sometimes we do have insecurities, but I think we should promote and support one another so that we can rise above that.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the collection?
I love the jumpsuits, and obviously the bathing suits. But there’s a really cool one-piece that I would love to see like in a Rihanna video.
Really? Well which one is it so we don’t miss it?
It has black and white checkers on the sleeves. You won’t miss it!

See for yourself Mara's full collection for Resort 2015 here.

The author with Mara.
Dee Trillo is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle expert. She has been a columnist for NBC, and on-air host for Yahoo TV and Fashion One TV, and is the bilingual blogger for The Haute Frugalista. Dee has been featured on Telemundo, CBS, Fox News, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, Style Network, Teen Vogue, Latina Magazine, Glam.com, Societe Perrier, and many other on-air, online and print outlets. Connect with her on social media @hautefrugalista or HauteFrugalista@gmail.com.